Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Neoliberal war on reality bulleing, 2019

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Jun 03, 2020] The first rule of political hypocrisy: Justify your actions by the need to protect the weak and vulnerable

Highly recommended!
Jun 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

...If you bomb Syria, do not admit you did it to install your puppet regime or to lay a pipeline. Say you did it to save the Aleppo kids gassed by Assad the Butcher. If you occupy Afghanistan, do not admit you make a handsome profit smuggling heroin; say you came to protect the women. If you want to put your people under total surveillance, say you did it to prevent hate groups target the powerless and diverse.

Remember: you do not need to ask children, women or immigrants whether they want your protection. If pushed, you can always find a few suitable profiles to look at the cameras and repeat a short text. With all my dislike for R2P (Responsibility to Protect) hypocrisy, I can't possibly blame the allegedly protected for the disaster caused by the unwanted protectors.

[Jun 03, 2020] The difference between old and new schools of jounalism: old-school journalism was like being assigned the task of finding out what "1+1 =?" and the task was to report the answer was "1." Now the task would be to report that "Some say it is 1, some say it is 2, some say it is 3."

Highly recommended!
Jun 20, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

A way to capture this change was thinking in terms of the traditional task of journalists to interview or consult a variety of sources to determine was is truth or true. The shift gradually became one of now interviewing or consulting various sources and reporting those opinions.

Old-school journalism was like being assigned the task of finding out what "1+1 =?" and the task was to report the answer was "1."

Now the task would be to report that "Some say it is 1, some say it is 2, some say it is 3."

[May 23, 2020] Neoliberalism promised freedom instead it delivers stifling control by George Monbiot

Highly recommended!
From comments: " neoliberalism to be a techno-economic order of control, requiring a state apparatus to enforce wholly artificial directives. Also, the work of recent critics of data markets such as Shoshana Zuboff has shown capitalism to be evolving into a totalitarian system of control through cybernetic data aggregation."
"... By rolling back the state, neoliberalism was supposed to have allowed autonomy and creativity to flourish. Instead, it has delivered a semi-privatised authoritarianism more oppressive than the system it replaced. ..."
"... Workers find themselves enmeshed in a Kafkaesque bureaucracy , centrally controlled and micromanaged. Organisations that depend on a cooperative ethic – such as schools and hospitals – are stripped down, hectored and forced to conform to suffocating diktats. The introduction of private capital into public services – that would herald a glorious new age of choice and openness – is brutally enforced. The doctrine promises diversity and freedom but demands conformity and silence. ..."
"... Their problem is that neoliberal theology, as well as seeking to roll back the state, insists that collective bargaining and other forms of worker power be eliminated (in the name of freedom, of course). So the marketisation and semi-privatisation of public services became not so much a means of pursuing efficiency as an instrument of control. ..."
"... Public-service workers are now subjected to a panoptical regime of monitoring and assessment, using the benchmarks von Mises rightly warned were inapplicable and absurd. The bureaucratic quantification of public administration goes far beyond an attempt at discerning efficacy. It has become an end in itself. ..."
Notable quotes:
"... By rolling back the state, neoliberalism was supposed to have allowed autonomy and creativity to flourish. Instead, it has delivered a semi-privatised authoritarianism more oppressive than the system it replaced. ..."
"... Workers find themselves enmeshed in a Kafkaesque bureaucracy , centrally controlled and micromanaged. Organisations that depend on a cooperative ethic – such as schools and hospitals – are stripped down, hectored and forced to conform to suffocating diktats. The introduction of private capital into public services – that would herald a glorious new age of choice and openness – is brutally enforced. The doctrine promises diversity and freedom but demands conformity and silence. ..."
"... Their problem is that neoliberal theology, as well as seeking to roll back the state, insists that collective bargaining and other forms of worker power be eliminated (in the name of freedom, of course). So the marketisation and semi-privatisation of public services became not so much a means of pursuing efficiency as an instrument of control. ..."
"... Public-service workers are now subjected to a panoptical regime of monitoring and assessment, using the benchmarks von Mises rightly warned were inapplicable and absurd. The bureaucratic quantification of public administration goes far beyond an attempt at discerning efficacy. It has become an end in itself. ..."
"... The other point to be made is that the return of fundamentalist nationalism is arguably a radicalized form of neoliberalism. ..."
"... Therefore, neoliberal hegemony can only be perpetuated with authoritarian, nationalist ideologies and an order of market feudalism. In other words, neoliberalism's authoritarian orientations, previously effaced beneath discourses of egalitarian free-enterprise, become overt. ..."
"... The market is no longer an enabler of private enterprise, but something more like a medieval religion, conferring ultimate authority on a demagogue. Individual entrepreneurs collectivise into a 'people' serving a market which has become synonymous with nationhood. ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Thousands of people march through London to protest against underfunding and privatisation of the NHS. Photograph: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Images M y life was saved last year by the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, through a skilful procedure to remove a cancer from my body . Now I will need another operation, to remove my jaw from the floor. I've just learned what was happening at the hospital while I was being treated. On the surface, it ran smoothly. Underneath, unknown to me, was fury and tumult. Many of the staff had objected to a decision by the National Health Service to privatise the hospital's cancer scanning . They complained that the scanners the private company was offering were less sensitive than the hospital's own machines. Privatisation, they said, would put patients at risk. In response, as the Guardian revealed last week , NHS England threatened to sue the hospital for libel if its staff continued to criticise the decision.

The dominant system of political thought in this country, which produced both the creeping privatisation of public health services and this astonishing attempt to stifle free speech, promised to save us from dehumanising bureaucracy. By rolling back the state, neoliberalism was supposed to have allowed autonomy and creativity to flourish. Instead, it has delivered a semi-privatised authoritarianism more oppressive than the system it replaced.

Workers find themselves enmeshed in a Kafkaesque bureaucracy , centrally controlled and micromanaged. Organisations that depend on a cooperative ethic – such as schools and hospitals – are stripped down, hectored and forced to conform to suffocating diktats. The introduction of private capital into public services – that would herald a glorious new age of choice and openness – is brutally enforced. The doctrine promises diversity and freedom but demands conformity and silence.

Much of the theory behind these transformations arises from the work of Ludwig von Mises. In his book Bureaucracy , published in 1944, he argued that there could be no accommodation between capitalism and socialism. The creation of the National Health Service in the UK, the New Deal in the US and other experiments in social democracy would lead inexorably to the bureaucratic totalitarianism of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

He recognised that some state bureaucracy was inevitable; there were certain functions that could not be discharged without it. But unless the role of the state is minimised – confined to defence, security, taxation, customs and not much else – workers would be reduced to cogs "in a vast bureaucratic machine", deprived of initiative and free will.

By contrast, those who labour within an "unhampered capitalist system" are "free men", whose liberty is guaranteed by "an economic democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote". He forgot to add that some people, in his capitalist utopia, have more votes than others. And those votes become a source of power.

His ideas, alongside the writings of Friedrich Hayek , Milton Friedman and other neoliberal thinkers, have been applied in this country by Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron, Theresa May and, to an alarming extent, Tony Blair. All of those have attempted to privatise or marketise public services in the name of freedom and efficiency, but they keep hitting the same snag: democracy. People want essential services to remain public, and they are right to do so.

If you hand public services to private companies, either you create a private monopoly, which can use its dominance to extract wealth and shape the system to serve its own needs – or you introduce competition, creating an incoherent, fragmented service characterised by the institutional failure you can see every day on our railways. We're not idiots, even if we are treated as such. We know what the profit motive does to public services.

So successive governments decided that if they could not privatise our core services outright, they would subject them to "market discipline". Von Mises repeatedly warned against this approach. "No reform could transform a public office into a sort of private enterprise," he cautioned. The value of public administration "cannot be expressed in terms of money". "Government efficiency and industrial efficiency are entirely different things."

"Intellectual work cannot be measured and valued by mechanical devices." "You cannot 'measure' a doctor according to the time he employs in examining one case." They ignored his warnings.

Their problem is that neoliberal theology, as well as seeking to roll back the state, insists that collective bargaining and other forms of worker power be eliminated (in the name of freedom, of course). So the marketisation and semi-privatisation of public services became not so much a means of pursuing efficiency as an instrument of control.

Public-service workers are now subjected to a panoptical regime of monitoring and assessment, using the benchmarks von Mises rightly warned were inapplicable and absurd. The bureaucratic quantification of public administration goes far beyond an attempt at discerning efficacy. It has become an end in itself.

Its perversities afflict all public services. Schools teach to the test , depriving children of a rounded and useful education. Hospitals manipulate waiting times, shuffling patients from one list to another. Police forces ignore some crimes, reclassify others, and persuade suspects to admit to extra offences to improve their statistics . Universities urge their researchers to write quick and superficial papers , instead of deep monographs, to maximise their scores under the research excellence framework.

As a result, public services become highly inefficient for an obvious reason: the destruction of staff morale. Skilled people, including surgeons whose training costs hundreds of thousands of pounds, resign or retire early because of the stress and misery the system causes. The leakage of talent is a far greater waste than any inefficiencies this quantomania claims to address.

New extremes in the surveillance and control of workers are not, of course, confined to the public sector. Amazon has patented a wristband that can track workers' movements and detect the slightest deviation from protocol. Technologies are used to monitor peoples' keystrokes, language, moods and tone of voice. Some companies have begun to experiment with the micro-chipping of their staff . As the philosopher Byung-Chul Han points out , neoliberal work practices, epitomised by the gig economy, that reclassifies workers as independent contractors, internalise exploitation. "Everyone is a self-exploiting worker in their own enterprise."

The freedom we were promised turns out to be freedom for capital , gained at the expense of human liberty. The system neoliberalism has created is a bureaucracy that tends towards absolutism, produced in the public services by managers mimicking corporate executives, imposing inappropriate and self-defeating efficiency measures, and in the private sector by subjection to faceless technologies that can brook no argument or complaint.

Attempts to resist are met by ever more extreme methods, such as the threatened lawsuit at the Churchill Hospital. Such instruments of control crush autonomy and creativity. It is true that the Soviet bureaucracy von Mises rightly denounced reduced its workers to subjugated drones. But the system his disciples have created is heading the same way.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist


Pinkie123 , 12 Apr 2019 03:23

The other point to be made is that the return of fundamentalist nationalism is arguably a radicalized form of neoliberalism. If 'free markets' of enterprising individuals have been tested to destruction, then capitalism is unable to articulate an ideology with which to legitimise itself.

Therefore, neoliberal hegemony can only be perpetuated with authoritarian, nationalist ideologies and an order of market feudalism. In other words, neoliberalism's authoritarian orientations, previously effaced beneath discourses of egalitarian free-enterprise, become overt.

The market is no longer an enabler of private enterprise, but something more like a medieval religion, conferring ultimate authority on a demagogue. Individual entrepreneurs collectivise into a 'people' serving a market which has become synonymous with nationhood.

A corporate state emerges, free of the regulatory fetters of democracy. The final restriction on the market - democracy itself - is removed. There then is no separate market and state, just a totalitarian market state.

glisson , 12 Apr 2019 00:10
This is the best piece of writing on neoliberalism I have ever seen. Look, 'what is in general good and probably most importantly what is in the future good'. Why are we collectively not viewing everything that way? Surely those thoughts should drive us all?
economicalternative -> Pinkie123 , 11 Apr 2019 21:33
Pinkie123: So good to read your understandings of neoliberalism. The political project is the imposition of the all seeing all knowing 'market' on all aspects of human life. This version of the market is an 'information processor'. Speaking of the different idea of the laissez-faire version of market/non market areas and the function of the night watchman state are you aware there are different neoliberalisms? The EU for example runs on the version called 'ordoliberalism'. I understand that this still sees some areas of society as separate from 'the market'?
economicalternative -> ADamnSmith2016 , 11 Apr 2019 21:01
ADamnSmith: Philip Mirowski has discussed this 'under the radar' aspect of neoliberalism. How to impose 'the market' on human affairs - best not to be to explicit about what you are doing. Only recently has some knowledge about the actual neoliberal project been appearing. Most people think of neoliberalism as 'making the rich richer' - just a ramped up version of capitalism. That's how the left has thought of it and they have been ineffective in stopping its implementation.
economicalternative , 11 Apr 2019 20:42
Finally. A writer who can talk about neoliberalism as NOT being a retro version of classical laissez faire liberalism. It is about imposing "The Market" as the sole arbiter of Truth on us all.
Only the 'Market' knows what is true in life - no need for 'democracy' or 'education'. Neoliberals believe - unlike classical liberals with their view of people as rational individuals acting in their own self-interest - people are inherently 'unreliable', stupid. Only entrepreneurs - those close to the market - can know 'the truth' about anything. To succeed we all need to take our cues in life from what the market tells us. Neoliberalism is not about a 'small state'. The state is repurposed to impose the 'all knowing' market on everyone and everything. That is neoliberalism's political project. It is ultimately not about 'economics'.
Pinkie123 , 11 Apr 2019 13:27
The left have been entirely wrong to believe that neoliberalism is a mobilisation of anarchic, 'free' markets. It never was so. Only a few more acute thinkers on the left (Jacques Ranciere, Foucault, Deleuze and, more recently, Mark Fisher, Wendy Brown, Will Davies and David Graeber) have understood neoliberalism to be a techno-economic order of control, requiring a state apparatus to enforce wholly artificial directives. Also, the work of recent critics of data markets such as Shoshana Zuboff has shown capitalism to be evolving into a totalitarian system of control through cybernetic data aggregation.


Only in theory is neoliberalism a form of laissez-faire. Neoliberalism is not a case of the state saying, as it were: 'OK everyone, we'll impose some very broad legal parameters, so we'll make sure the police will turn up if someone breaks into your house; but otherwise we'll hang back and let you do what you want'. Hayek is perfectly clear that a strong state is required to force people to act according to market logic. If left to their own devices, they might collectivise, think up dangerous utopian ideologies, and the next thing you know there would be socialism. This the paradox of neoliberalism as an intellectual critique of government: a socialist state can only be prohibited with an equally strong state. That is, neoliberals are not opposed to a state as such, but to a specifically centrally-planned state based on principles of social justice - a state which, to Hayek's mind, could only end in t totalitarianism. Because concepts of social justice are expressed in language, neoliberals are suspicious of linguistic concepts, regarding them as politically dangerous. Their preference has always been for numbers. Hence, market bureaucracy aims for the quantification of all values - translating the entirety of social reality into metrics, data, objectively measurable price signals. Numbers are safe. The laws of numbers never change. Numbers do not lead to revolutions. Hence, all the audit, performance review and tick-boxing that has been enforced into public institutions serves to render them forever subservient to numerical (market) logic. However, because social institutions are not measurable, attempts to make them so become increasingly mystical and absurd. Administrators manage data that has no relation to reality. Quantitatively unmeasurable things - like happiness or success - are measured, with absurd results.

It should be understood (and I speak above all as a critic of neoliberalism) that neoliberal ideology is not merely a system of class power, but an entire metaphysic, a way of understanding the world that has an emotional hold over people. For any ideology to universalize itself, it must be based on some very powerful ideas. Hayek and Von Mises were Jewish fugitives of Nazism, living through the worst horrors of twentieth-century totalitarianism. There are passages of Hayek's that describe a world operating according to the rules of a benign abstract system that make it sound rather lovely. To understand neoliberalism, we must see that it has an appeal.

However, there is no perfect order of price signals. People do not simply act according to economic self-interest. Therefore, neoliberalism is a utopian political project like any other, requiring the brute power of the state to enforce ideological tenets. With tragic irony, the neoliberal order eventually becomes not dissimilar to the totalitarian regimes that Hayek railed against.

manolito22 -> MrJoe , 11 Apr 2019 08:14
Nationalised rail in the UK was under-funded and 'set up to fail' in its latter phase to make privatisation seem like an attractive prospect. I have travelled by train under both nationalisation and privatisation and the latter has been an unmitigated disaster in my experience. Under privatisation, public services are run for the benefit of shareholders and CEO's, rather than customers and citizens and under the opaque shroud of undemocratic 'commercial confidentiality'.
Galluses , 11 Apr 2019 07:26
What has been very noticeable about the development of bureaucracy in the public and private spheres over the last 40 years (since Thatcher govt of 79) has been the way systems are designed now to place responsibility and culpability on the workers delivering the services - Teachers, Nurses, social workers, etc. While those making the policies, passing the laws, overseeing the regulations- viz. the people 'at the top', now no longer take the rap when something goes wrong- they may be the Captain of their particular ship, but the responsibility now rests with the man sweeping the decks. Instead they are covered by tying up in knots those teachers etc. having to fill in endless check lists and reports, which have as much use as clicking 'yes' one has understood those long legal terms provided by software companies.... yet are legally binding. So how the hell do we get out of this mess? By us as individuals uniting through unions or whatever and saying NO. No to your dumb educational directives, No to your cruel welfare policies, No to your stupid NHS mismanagement.... there would be a lot of No's but eventually we could say collectively 'Yes I did the right thing'.
fairshares -> rjb04tony , 11 Apr 2019 07:17
'The left wing dialogue about neoliberalism used to be that it was the Wild West and that anything goes. Now apparently it's a machine of mass control.'

It is the Wild West and anything goes for the corporate entities, and a machine of control of the masses. Hence the wish of neoliberals to remove legislation that protects workers and consumers.

[Dec 30, 2019] "Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"How much money did you make in Ukraine?"

[Dec 30, 2019] Looking at Rachel Maddow I miss the days when a man could just accuse a woman of being a witch and trust the fine upstanding townspeople to take care of the rest

Dec 30, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

1 day ago Maddow is really a propagandist. She really isn't a journalist. Because her credibility and ratings have gone south because so many of the big stories she has been obliged to push have been fake from the get-go. People start to notice that after a while. You can't fool all of the people all of the time as Abe observed. 1 day ago It has been determined to have been a fabrication. It is not just controversial. Maddow may be spot on in fooling her drooling sycophants, but facts seldom ever interfere with her fairy tales and TDS motivated delusions. 10 hours ago Rational Agent:
The CIA told the FBI that the material in the Steele dossier is merely Internet gossip and bar room talk. This is in the inspector general's report (issued Dec 9) and public testimony under oath before Congress (Dec 11).

There were several agents in the FBI who were disturbed about the unverified nature of this material, and they were overruled by other agents and their supervisors and this material was then presented to the FISA court four times in the knowledge that it was unverified but the court was told it was verified. That is also in the inspector general's Report and public testimony.

The result of this misconduct was that the head judge of the FISA court Rosemary Collyer, issued on Dec 16 an unprecedented and angry public rebuke of the FBI for repeatedly deceiving the court about the veracity of the Steele dossier.

Enough for you? 1 day ago With apologies to Bob Dylan:

"A man (or woman) sees what he (she) wants to see and disregards the rest."

If you're tuned into cable 'news' at 9 p.m. eastern time looking for objective journalism, well, good luck with that. Cuomo is probably the best bet; he offers a little bit. 1 day ago I think the apology should be to Paul Simon?

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=a+man+sees+what+he+wants+to+see+and+disregards+the+rest+lyrics

Not withstanding that, your point is well made. Not much in the way of great thought on the telly at that time on any station. 1 day ago Independents view Rachael Maddow, Chris Cuomo and Sean Hannity as hate peddlers who spin, lie and twist every single issue to fit their fantasy of how the world exists. I cannot imagine how anyone with a brain or any semblance of logic could be a regular viewer of these hate mongers. If one does a cursory analysis of the predictions these people have made over the past couple of years, you will quickly see how ridiculous and wrong they have been. The bigger problem is that they represent their news organizations and only add to the distrust and declining reliance that rational folks have of the Media. 2 days ago [she is] Just another CIA mouthpiece. 2 days ago Maddow is being sued by the One America News Network for stating the latter were 'really, literally' Russian assets.

Maddows is furiously back pedalling, not standing by what she said. This speaks volumes.

Maddows is evil. 2 days ago The Steele dossier is trash. A joke. Comprehensively discredited. Only the wilfully blind or deluded would believe otherwise. Proof that [neo]liberalism is a form of mental illness. 1 day ago If it is all propaganda, then we are truly living in a post-truth world. In this world there are no facts, only competing narratives. This allows us to sink into fact-free thinking and rely only on our prejudices (or our "gut") to determine our preferences. 2 days ago " The case against Maddow is far stronger. When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document."

[Dec 30, 2019] In the UK Do Subjects Deserve their Rulers Dissident Voice

Dec 30, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

by Andre Vltchek / December 24th, 2019

I constantly receive such letters; letters which repeat, again and again, year after year, basically the same thing: "If only we would have an opportunity to vote out our damn system!"

Such letters, emails and messages keep coming to me from the United States, but also from the United Kingdom. Particularly, after certain events , like when the Western empire overthrows some progressive government in Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.

I honestly wonder: "Don't my readers actually periodically have that proverbial opportunity they are longing for? They can, can't they, install socialism; to let it storm into Downing Street like an early spring?"

But they keep missing that opportunity, again and again. Or, are they really missing it? Actually, for so many years they have voted in the most extreme forms of capitalism and imperialism, so one has to wonder whether the British voters perhaps truly deserve their rulers?

[Dec 29, 2019] Neoliberal Christmas Sampler

Dec 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

American healthcare rocks because my daughter's hospital playset i put together includes a debit card and payment system pic.twitter.com/fyTpbDbgvB

— Casey Taylor (@CTWritePretty) December 25, 2019

Neoliberal Christmas (2):

None of the kids wanted toys for Christmas this year, they just wanted cash. Understandable, but cash as a gift, while practical, always feels impersonal, so I made special packaging. Went over well pic.twitter.com/urXVCHtDyW

— Donnachaidha O'Chionnaigh (@TwoClawsMedia) December 26, 2019

Neoliberal Christmas (3):

'Tis the season.
(ht @dzennon ) pic.twitter.com/UCq6OSQzRT

— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) December 25, 2019

I'm so old I remember when serious people thought television comedians were serious political players:

Fondly remembering Christmas 2018 and how well this all turned out pic.twitter.com/WoPbGp5JIg

— A Flock of Seagals (@ASegals) December 25, 2019

Making a list and checking it twice:

Tech companies take your privacy seriously, and also use data from inside your home for cutesy press releases about visits from carolers and people seeking cookie recipes. https://t.co/o5Lk0G47QL pic.twitter.com/QX6fvcCFAB

— Shira Ovide (@ShiraOvide) December 26, 2019

[Dec 29, 2019] We received a wonderful Christmas gift from the Department of Schadenfreude in the form of this story from the Washington Post about MadCow

Dec 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

" Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart ":

She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings -- a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.

[Dec 29, 2019] Note on Washington's bizarre priorities by James Antle

Notable quotes:
"... ...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue." ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue."

[Dec 29, 2019] Christmas is known as "the season of giving"

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

#2 This is known as "the season of giving", but one 65-year-old guy in Colorado decided it would be more fun to do it with other people's money : Just after noon on Monday, a 65-year-old man walked into a downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado bank and stole thousands of dollars before running outside and tossing the cash up into the air while yelling "Merry Christmas!"

#8 One rapper in Los Angeles decided that the best way to address the problem of homelessness was to climb on top of a tall building and throw cash down on to the homeless people living on Skid Row so they could fight over it: The 22-year-old rapper known as Blueface climbed onboard a black Mercedes SUV in Skid Row before throwing money out of a bag while dozens of people below scramble to catch the flying cash and pick it up from the ground. The artist, whose real name is Jonathan Michael Porteris, is known for the Benjamin Franklin tattoo on his cheek and a handful of hit tracks that reached viral status in recent years.

[Dec 28, 2019] Senior OPCW Official Busted Leaked Email Exposes Orders To Delete All Traces Of Dissent On Douma

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power. ..."
"... This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids. ..."
"... Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets. ..."
"... Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. ..."
"... Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us. ..."
"... If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press. ..."
"... Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup? ..."
"... The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense. ..."
"... And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal. ..."
"... According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this." ..."
"... New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Senior OPCW Official Busted: Leaked Email Exposes Orders To "Delete All Traces" Of Dissent On Douma by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

Wikileaks has released their fourth set of leaks from the OPCW's Douma investigation, revealing new details about the alleged deletion of important information regarding the fact-finding mission.

RELEASE: OPCW-Douma Docs 4. Four leaked documents from the OPCW reveal that toxicologists ruled out deaths from chlorine exposure and a senior official ordered the deletion of the dissenting engineering report from OPCW's internal repository of documents. https://t.co/ndK4sRikNk

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

"One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW , where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation," WikiLeaks writes. Included in the email is the following directive:

" Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive] And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA.'"

According to Wikileaks, the main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma, was that two of the cylinders were most likely manually placed at the site, rather than dropped.

"The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident," the Wikileaks report said.

It must be remembered that the U.S. launched an attack on Damascus, Syria on April 14, 2018 over alleged chemical weapons usage by pro-Assad forces at Douma.

AP file image.

Another document released Friday is minutes from a meeting on 6 June 2018 where four staff members of the OPCW had discussions with "three Toxicologists/Clinical pharmacologists, one bioanalytical and toxicological chemist" (all specialists in chemical weapons, according to the minutes).

Minutes from an OPCW meeting with toxicologists specialized in chemical weapons: "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was
no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure". https://t.co/j5Jgjiz8UY pic.twitter.com/vgPaTtsdQN

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

The purpose of this meeting was two-fold. The first objective was "to solicit expert advice on the value of exhuming suspected victims of the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018". According to the minutes, the OPCW team was advised by the experts that there would be little use in conducting exhumations. The second point was "To elicit expert opinions from the forensic toxicologists regarding the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims."

More specifically, " whether the symptoms observed in victims were consistent with exposure to chlorine or other reactive chlorine gas."

According to the minutes leaked Friday: "With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure ."

The OPCW team members wrote that the key "take-away message" from the meeting was "that the symptoms observed were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified".

* * *

See full details at Wikileaks.org


JohnFrodo , 28 minutes ago link

pity the human pawns at the center of this mess.

africoman , 38 minutes ago link

There has been a Newsweek reporter who quite over editorial block of this OPCW case here also another interview by Grayzone

https://youtu.be/qqK8KgxuCPI

The isisrahell have such long hand to pull the plug any stories implicating their crime in progress otherwise they can put out some bs spins as bombshell reporting about US lies in Afghanistan war on their wapo for public for those who read it was nothing important revealed except being a misdirected na

ponyboy99 , 40 minutes ago link

If you want to pay off that student loan you're going to print what they tell you to print. You're going to inject kids with what they tell you to inject them with. You're going to think what they tell you to think or you're going to spend your days in a Prole bar drinking Blatz.

ponyboy99 , 47 minutes ago link

If you go thru life assuming every single thing is a farce and a lie (Roddy Piper) these events can not only be explained, they can be predicted.

Ace006 , 57 minutes ago link

SOMEbody's got to ensure the intergrity of the Documents Registry Archive

Weihan , 58 minutes ago link

The globalist deep-state's reach is legendary.

Nothing , 1 hour ago link

yes, an attack was launched, 50 missiles I believe, after loud warnings that it was coming, and none of them actually hit anything significant ... this is the way the game is played .... the good news is that the missiles cost $50 million, and now they will have to be replaced, by the Pentagon, first borrowing the money through the US Treasury offerings, and then paying for them from new money printed by the Federal Reserve. capische?

Greed is King , 36 minutes ago link

That`s the way it`s always been, it`s the eternal war of good against evil.

And when one evil enemy is defeated, it`s necessary to create a new evil enemy, how else can the Establishment Elite make money from war, death and destruction.

africoman , 16 minutes ago link

It's really very awkward & telling how ***** these bunch of western nations are looking tough on taking out poor defenceless country like Syria on ******** & at the satried to ease real kickass Russian as you described when they launch the attacks

I kind wish the US & their Zionist clown launch such huge attacks on Iran based on false flag

I really wanted these evil aggressive powers to taste what it is like to get bombed back even one they used to throw on multiple weaker nations freely with nothing to fear as retribution etc

Thordoom , 1 hour ago link

This organisations are all set up in Europe and US run by the filthiest filth on earth who still think they have God given right to imperial rule over the world.

British elite is the worst of all.

DCFusor , 1 hour ago link

Your military-industrial-intelligence complex at work, creating justification for more funding, like always - and who cares if people die as a result? Like Soros said, if they didn't do it, someone else would. (do I need /sarc?).

They don't like to be shown to be in charge, just to be in charge. And if you think this is a function of the current admin, you've been slow in the head and deaf and blind for quite some time.

I've watched since Eisenhower, and "it's always something". Doesn't matter what color the clown in chief's tie is.

St. TwinkleToes , 1 hour ago link

Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power.

This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids.

veritas semper vinces , 2 hours ago link

Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets.

holgerdanske , 1 hour ago link

It was May that insisted on this attack. Remember the "poison" attack and the evil Russians?

lwilland1012 , 3 hours ago link

Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. Why do we even follow the law, then? Given the precedent that is being set, we might as well not have any.

ken , 1 hour ago link

Well, they are looking forward to using all those Israeli weapons, er, uh, products, that local law enforcement has purchased...so watch out for Co-Intel Pro elicitation going forward....?

WorkingClassMan , 3 hours ago link

Everybody knows the Golem (USA) does Isn'treal's bidding in Syria and elsewhere in the Near East. Hopefully they keep hammering in the fact that this "gas attack" was an obvious set-up to use as a pretext (flimsy itself on the face of it) to brutalize Assad and Syria on behalf of Isn'treal.

The whole thing is built on ******* lies. Worst part about it is, nothing will happen.

turkey george palmer , 3 hours ago link

Only official news is to believed. You see it and it is a lie. they tell you to believe it. A lot of people casually believe whatever is spoken on TV. They become teachers and are taught in college what is right and wrong. We only have a few years before all the brain dead are in charge and robotically following the message like zombies with no brain

adonisdemilo , 3 hours ago link

Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us.

johnnycanuck , 3 hours ago link

It is difficult to underestimate the seriousness of this manipulative act by the OPCW. In a response to the conservative author Peter Hitchens, who also writes for the Mail on Sunday – he is of course the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens – the OPCW admits that its so-called technical secretariat "is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised [sic] release of the document".

Then it adds: "At this time, there is no further public information on this matter and the OPCW is unable to accommodate [sic] requests for interviews". It's a tactic that until now seems to have worked: not a single news media which reported the OPCW's official conclusions has followed up the story of the report which the OPCW suppressed.

And you bet the OPCW is not going to "accommodate" interviews. For here is an institution investigating a war crime in a conflict which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives – yet its only response to an enquiry about the engineers' "secret" assessment is to concentrate on its own witch-hunt for the source of the document it wished to keep secret from the world.

If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press.

https://johnmenadue.com/robert-fisk-the-evidence-we-were-never-meant-to-see-about-the-douma-gas-attack-counterpunch-27-may-2019/

5fingerdiscount , 3 hours ago link

Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup?

Helg Saracen , 3 hours ago link

The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense.

And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal.

carbonmutant , 4 hours ago link

You gotta wonder how much the deep state has deleted about their interference in Trump's administration...

dogbert8 , 4 hours ago link

Pretty much everyone with a brain realizes this all was a lie; only the M5M and the DC swamp continue to pretend it wasn't.

Joiningupthedots , 4 hours ago link

Who really made the order though?

ClickNLook , 3 hours ago link

Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW needs to be interrogated to find out.

Condor_0000 , 4 hours ago link

Newsweek Reporter Quits After Editors Block Coverage of OPCW Syria Scandal

December 19, 2019

Aaron Mate

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/19/newsweek-reporter-quits-after-editors-block-coverage-of-opcw-syria-scandal/

According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this."

New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded.

This is, without a doubt, a major global scandal: the OPCW, under reported US pressure, suppressing vital evidence about allegations of chemical weapons. But that very fact exposes another global scandal: with the exception of small outlets like The Grayzone, the mass media has widely ignored or whitewashed this story. And this widespread censorship of the OPCW scandal has just led one journalist to resign. Up until recently, Tareq Haddad was a reporter at Newsweek. But in early December, Tareq announced that he had quit his position after Newsweek refused to publish his story about the OPCW cover up over Syria.

[Dec 28, 2019] Russian YouTubers Create Gas-Powered Replica Of Tesla's Cybertruck Using A Hatchback And Some Sheet Metal

Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

ibeanbanned , 42 minutes ago link

This is the reason that progressives hate russia?

[Dec 28, 2019] Ode to Deplorables

Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Deplorables are ascending in America, with Trump, in Britain with Brexit, in Hong Kong, in much of Europe, in Latin America, in Iran.

...The Mandate of Heaven has been removed from the elitist establishment. It is passing to the Deplorables.

The Deplorables are ascending in America, with Trump, in Britain with Brexit, in Hong Kong, in much of Europe, in Latin America, in Iran. Deplorables are the antidote to arrogant globalists.

Deplorables everywhere say "from now on we will make our own decisions."

What is it with the Deplorables? What gives them such power?

Three things, I believe, are elevating them.

Deplorables are pragmatic . They are not wedded to any extreme ideology. Deplorables will go with anything that works. It is no wonder that the Deplorables began in America. For, as Americans we inherit the pragmatism of our pioneering ancestors.

Boogity , 4 minutes ago link

The article incorrectly lumps the astro-turfed Hong Kong protests in with the "Deplorable" populist movements in the USA and western Europe.

The Hong Kong protests are being backed by Soros and the Davos globalist elites as well the the CIA, MIC, and the DC Uniparty. This same bunch of Swamp scum are enemies of the "Deplorables".

FBaggins , 1 hour ago link

More pure American establishment propaganda as if the globalist movement is essentially a creature of the socialists, government bureaucracies, and the Asian block. The truth is that it is a creature mainly of the Rothschild banking cartel and with the support of most Western based multi-nationals, which have utilized the Rothschild & Soros backed international socialists, the Western mainstream media, most Western governments, plus the Catholic Church hierarchy, in order to bring about a world government. The Rothschild wet dream is control of world finances just like they control those in the West, and their stated intentions are for a One-World Bank with a one-world currency. However, the cartel cannot do that without a world government with real enforcement powers for trade and protection with their world currency. The multinonals mainly want borderless nations for freer access to resources and markets.

Trump has been used to whump up US stature and ultimately will be seen as much an instrument of the globalist cause as was Obama. Perhaps he was put in the game by his backers to secure a higher return on the US dollar when they are cashed in for the proposed one-world currency, and by the Zionists to secure more turf for Israel. Israel is getting very itchy with the old trigger finger and we await in the New Year another false flag at least on the scale of 9/11. It will likely have to involve a US city.

As we know, the term 'deplorables' came from Hillary in the last US presidential election and was applied to people who amplified "hateful views and voices" about her, but later the term was used to characterize mainly Trump supporters. The Hong Kong protesters as not "deplorables" because their cause in not for Trump or for the US. It is for their own liberty against the communist Chinese government usurping their basic legal and local rights, which Trump could care less about. Aslo, he is not a populist. He is an elitist and he is totally controlled by elitists with more money and power than even he every dreamed of.

Left or right, Democrat or Republican, the puppet masters are the same and run the show. They are all global elites using their money and power to swing the public audiences left and right with every pull at the strings of their dummy politicians. What they fear the most, is the people in the middle uniting without their money or the media and taking control of their lives and their nations.

[Dec 28, 2019] Report Hyped By Climate Alarmists Warned: Millions Dead, Nuclear War, Sunken Major Cities By 2020

Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

5 more days!!

[Dec 27, 2019] Schumer, Impeachment and Hypocrisy: "I will be voting to acquit the president on both counts. I had to make my decision in September "

First Rachel Madcow...now this!
Dec 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Then-RNC chairman Jim Nicholson said of Schumer "No self-respecting jury would allow somebody who's already formed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of the accused," adding "but Chuck Schumer has loudly proclaimed that he's pre-judged the case. He's already announced that he's decided the President shouldn't be impeached , much less removed from office."

Schumer responded days later, telling NBC 's "Meet the Press": "The Founding Fathers -- whose wisdom just knocks my socks off every day, it really does -- set this process up to be in the Senate, not at the Supreme Court, not in some judicial body ."

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

"Every day, for instance, hundreds of people call us up and lobby us on one side and the other. You can't do that with a juror," he added. "The standard is different. It's supposed to be a little bit judicial and a little bit legislative-political. That's how it's been.

Meanwhile, Schumer said in a 1998 Op-Ed that he would be voting to acquit Clinton , and that he'd made up his mind that September.

"My decision will not come as a surprise," Schumer wrote . "I will be voting to acquit the president on both counts. I had to make my decision in September as a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House, and while I was in the middle of the campaign."

Responding to CNN 's recent report (yet failing to explain the 'impartial juror' hypocrisy), Schumer's office said that his statements came after the conclusion of the Starr investigation, "which included testimony from key witnesses including President Clinton, had concluded and been made public for months and as Sen. Schumer was in the anomalous position of having already voted on impeachment in both the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor."

"As is reflected in these quotes, Schumer believed then and still believes now that all of the facts must be allowed to come out and then a decision can be made -- in stark contrast to the Republicans today in both the House and Senate who have worked to prevent all the facts and evidence from coming out."


gay troll , 33 minutes ago link

Another term unlimited parasite shows that he has become an utter hypocrite, if he wasn't one in the first place. Praising the wisdom of the founding fathers is such a rookie move, the kind of thing you say to get elected. Like all other politicians he picks and chooses the parts of the Constitution that are conducive to his hold on power. The Democrats do not have a leg to stand on, and for that reason they are going down. What Trump will do with his second term terrifies me. I still cannot believe this dissembling confidence artist, former NYC liberal, arch Zionist, Rothschild beneficiary has the best interests of America in mind.

The_Central_Scrutinizer , 21 minutes ago link

The idea we have members of the House or Senate still serving who participated in the last impeachment should be a warning to us all. Yet the number is surprisingly high.

2handband , 16 minutes ago link

but the larger issue is the money favoring...reducing that will be complic

Never happen. People are ****, and everybody has their price. Term limits would probably make it worse; if you know you're only getting one or two terms you'll be trying to maximize your take.

Bay of Pigs , 3 minutes ago link

First we see the liberal rag WaPo blasting MadCow and now CNN calling out Chuck Schumer?

WTF? Is this Friday Humor?

stevek , 11 minutes ago link

I get really suspicious any time CNN reports anything even remotely resembling the truth. They must be up to something no good.

2handband , 8 minutes ago link

The whole thing is scripted. I've been waiting for stuff exactly like this, actually. They're not really trying to get rid of Trump; in fact they NEED him in office next term.

2handband , 15 minutes ago link

Once again: this is too dumb too be real. If they actually wanted to get rid of Trump, there are easier ways.

gay troll , 22 minutes ago link

Another term unlimited parasite shows that he has become an utter hypocrite, if he wasn't one in the first place. Praising the wisdom of the founding fathers is such a rookie move, the kind of thing you say to get elected. Like all other politicians he picks and chooses the parts of the Constitution that are conducive to his hold on power. The Democrats do not have a leg to stand on, and for that reason they are going down. What Trump will do with his second term terrifies me. I still cannot believe this dissembling confidence artist, former NYC liberal, arch Zionist, Rothschild beneficiary has the best interests of America in mind.

SocratesSolves , 23 minutes ago link

It is time, ladies and gentlemen, to put the *** in the Zoo. After all, that's what they tried to do to you...

2willies , 24 minutes ago link

Schumer is a classic psychopath.

[Dec 26, 2019] Anti-homeless gay rock is peak neoliberalism

Dec 26, 2019 | twitter.com

Voortrekker ‏ 12:55 PM - 20 Dec 2019

Anti-homeless gay rock is peak neoliberalism . pic.twitter.com/u4N4ibwNrv

[Dec 26, 2019] Christmas message for Tony Blair

Dec 26, 2019 | twitter.com

Frank Owen's Legendary Paintbrush ‏ 1:12 AM - 18 Dec 2019

Dear Tony Blair,

The days of privatization, deregulation, outsourcing, PFI, tuition fees and warmongering in the Labour Party are over.

Neoliberalism ain't coming back.

Now, take your £9 million from Saudi headchopper Mohammad bin Salman and fuck off.

[Dec 26, 2019] Santa Claus Accused Of Quid Pro Quo For Giving Children Gifts In Exchange For Good Behavior

Dec 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Babylon Bee,

Legislators have begun to hold hearings on impeaching Santa Claus after an overheard conversation seemed to imply he was offering a quid pro quo: gifts in exchange for good behavior. FBI agents spied on Claus at various malls as he repeatedly said things like, "Sure, I'll get you a pony. But first, I need you to do something for me... be a good little boy!"

The FBI was able to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Claus, because it's easier to get a FISA warrant than to get a Costco membership.

"Ho ho noooooo!" Santa Claus cried as investigators leaped out and cuffed him at a Dayton, OH mall. "Not good! Sad!"

freedommusic , 2 minutes ago link

The whistleblowers are children of CIA and FBI agents and remain anonymous to protect them from retaliation from angry Christmas elves.

[Dec 26, 2019] My greatest fear is the complacency of western citizens; both U.S. (especially) and European. Usians are the absolute worst in their total lack of knowing and understanding history...

Dec 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 24 2019 20:16 utc | 111

People may have read that Putin has said a few more things about the documents he reviewed with his CIS peers; and in doing so, Putin revealed an aspect about himself few have seen previously. Putin made his statement at the annual year-end Defense Ministry Board Meeting . IMO, Putin has had more than enough of the extreme Russophobia now in circulation and he sees it as being very similar to that of prior historical periods where Russia was then subjected to attack from the West. I won't post Putin's diatribe here; you'll need to read it for yourself--I've never seen him so angry or speak undiplomatically. What I will post is what he said after, which IMO is even more important, although removed from the overall context:

"I just want to note that this kind of people, people like the ones who were negotiating with Hitler back then, they now deface monuments to the liberator soldiers, Red Army soldiers who liberated the countries of Europe and the European peoples from Nazism. These are their followers. In this sense, unfortunately, little has changed. And we must keep this in mind, also with regard to the development of our Armed Forces . [My Emphasis]

"Here is what I would like to say in this regard, which I think is critically important. Please note: neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia have ever tried to create a threat to other countries. We were always catching up in this regard. The United States created the atomic bomb, and the Soviet Union caught up with it. We did not have nuclear weapon delivery vehicles or carriers. There was no such thing as strategic aviation, and the Soviet Union was catching up in this area, as well. The first intercontinental missiles actually were not built here, and the Soviet Union was trying to catch up.

"Today, we have a unique situation in our new and recent history. They try to catch up with us."

Also note the word Putin chose to describe the Outlaw US Empire's withdraw from the INF Treaty. Clearly, Putin desires to impress upon those charged with Russia's defense that the times are indeed perilous, that the old lies are being spread without any resistance. As with the other three transcripts I linked, this one also demands to be read in full and also in close association with the other three. The Poles will scream along with their sycophants, but Putin is correct about both the past and the present and the danger present within the future.

V , Dec 25 2019 2:22 utc | 116

karlof1 | Dec 24 2019 20:16 utc | 111

I read your link; Defense Ministry Board Meeting. Thanks.
All I can say is wow! Putin, rightfully angry as hell, with what we in the west are doing to the present and the foul corruption of history.
My greatest fear is the complacency of western citizens; both U.S. (especially) and European. Usians are the absolute worst in their total lack of knowing and understanding history...

[Dec 25, 2019] The USA, Christianity, Christmas and peace

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Dec 26 2019 2:37 utc | 87

Such a Christian nation: " the USA never bothers to meet the requirements of its own constitution for going to war."

as far as know, Christianity hasn't burned anybody for being a witch, nor drowned them, in some time; otoh, Christians sure have started a lot of recent wars, or police actions, or whatever they are called technically since the USA never bothers to meet the requirements of its own constitution for going to war.

[Dec 25, 2019] The Empire has once again been victorious against the doltish Mongol-Tatar subhumans, who have no technology, no wits, no gumption no nothing, when faced with the awesome might of the Exceptional Nation.

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 24, 2019 at 1:20 am

S&P Global Platts does not seem to be in the same jubilatory mood as is the troll in his belief that Nord Stream 2 has been well and truly fucked by the mighty Empire:

Nord Stream 2 pipelayer Allseas suspends operations on US sanctions

The move by Allseas will certainly mean new delays to the completion of the 55 Bcm/year pipeline, which had originally been scheduled to start operations at the end of 2019.

Delays to the completion of the pipeline?

Delays????

Are you serious Platts?

The Empire has once again been victorious against the doltish Mongol-Tatar subhumans, who have no technology, no wits, no gumption no nothing , when faced with the awesome might of the Exceptional Nation.

Nord Stream – 2 is totally fucked, I tell ya!

[Dec 25, 2019] A new incarnation of the fundamental question "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Democrats Debate Whether Trump Has Been Impeached

This is like the debate about the fundamental question "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
Notable quotes:
"... has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach -- which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted? ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Alan Dershowitz via The Gatestone Institute,

Speaker Pelosi's unconstitutional decision to delay transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to gain partisan advantage raises the following question: has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach -- which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted? This highly technical constitutional issue is being debated by two of my former Harvard Law School colleagues -- Professors Laurence Tribe and Noah Feldman -- both liberal Democrats who support President Trump's impeachment.

Tribe believes that Trump has been impeached and that it would be perfectly proper to leave it at that : by declining to transmit the articles of impeachment, the Democrats get a win-win. President Trump remains impeached but he gets no opportunity to be tried and acquitted by the Senate. This cynical, partisan ploy is acceptable to Tribe because it brings about the partisan result he prefers: Trump bears forever the stigma of impeachment without having the opportunity to challenge that stigma by a Senate acquittal. Under the Tribe scenario, the House Democrats get to "obstruct" the Senate and "abuse" their power (to borrow terms from the articles of impeachment).

Feldman disagrees with Tribe, arguing -- quite correctly -- that impeachment and a removal trial go together. If a president is impeached, he must be tried. Impeachment, in his view, is not merely a vote; it is the first step in a constitutionally mandated two-step process. He goes so far as to say that if the articles of impeachment are not forwarded to the Senate for trial, there has been no valid impeachment.

[Dec 24, 2019] Trump Campaign Offers Tips For Winning Arguments With 'Snowflake' Relatives This Xmas

This would probably be even better: When People Laughed At The Idea Of Donald Trump Actually Being Elected President! [Compilation]
Dec 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

And as liberal family members arrive packing a battery of Maddow-approved, Media Matters talking points beamed directly into their outrage cortex, conservatives may find themselves ill equipped to handle the firehose of vitriol pouring out of their loved ones.

In anticipation of holiday triggerings, the 2020 Trump campaign reserved the website " snowflakevictory.com " two weeks ago, filling it with all sorts of facts and logic that can be deployed to "win an argument with your liberal relatives," which can also be viewed in short video clips set to patriotic background music.

51 minutes ago (Edited)

I read this earlier on ZH, but it was priceless. Just tell your liberal and Democratic relatives that since the House of Representatives impeached Trump, he is now eligible for two more terms as President. Thanks GunnyG for posting this earlier in this thread.

41 minutes ago (Edited)

If Trump had actually done anything for the American masses, we would all know it and no list of talking points issued from the Trump administration would be necessary.

[Dec 24, 2019] I can't wait for the Warren Trump debates, where Trump will show up wearing a full-length American Indian headdress.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jeremyharrison , December 23, 2019 at 3:46 pm

I can't wait for the Warren – Trump debates, where Trump will show up wearing a full-length American Indian headdress.

inode_buddha , December 23, 2019 at 3:57 pm

Nothing stopping Warren from showing up in a orange wig with a really bad comb over. And a loud tie.

Trent , December 23, 2019 at 4:07 pm

she's not funny and takes herself too seriously

polecat , December 23, 2019 at 5:44 pm

So, a faux tranny .. in addition to a faux indigenous. Alright then

CoryP , December 24, 2019 at 12:53 am

Have to admit I laughed.

But tranny is an offensive term. Which I nonetheless appreciate in the right context. . whatever you can't censor people's thoughts.

Everything has become an offensive term, generally when it's used intentionally to cause offense. We have to be able to insult these people somehow!

I thought of Dearieme. As much as his comments got me worked up it's made me realize what a fine line there is with censorship.

[Dec 24, 2019] If Donald Trump was Mitch Hedberg he would be far more interesting

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Big Tap , December 24, 2019 at 1:06 am

and if Donald Trump was Mitch Hedberg he would be far more interesting. Also the show is from 1999 not 2017 in the caption. He died in 2005.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3QLxaUufmQ

[Dec 24, 2019] A big problem with Pelosi DemoRats: they actually want Trump to be re-elected

Notable quotes:
"... If Democrats were to win, they'd have to govern. ..."
Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Big River Bandido , December 24, 2019 at 12:30 am

If Democrats were to win, they'd have to govern.

albrt , December 23, 2019 at 11:42 pm

The Democrat consultant and non-profit ecosystem is fund-raising off of Trump like they have never fund-raised before.

Allegorio , December 24, 2019 at 12:31 am

The corporate Democrats, got Trump elected in the first place,

ggm , December 24, 2019 at 2:06 am

Tulsi had the sense to see impeachment for what it is, a farce that only helps Trump, and look how she is treated by the party for refusing to go along with it.

[Dec 24, 2019] Today in Russophrenia

Rachel Maddow is now so crazy that even other crazy people are starting to notice.
Dec 24, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman December 22, 2019 at 9:55 am

Today in Russophrenia:

In other news, @RANDCorporation report firmly establishes that Van Gogh was a Russian Agent. May be, the dastardly Kremlin plot drove him to cut his ear off?.. At any rate, NATO is now on alert. pic.twitter.com/9k9j5K9rx1

-- Constantin Gurdgiev (@GTCost) December 22, 2019

[Dec 24, 2019] Merry Christmas.

Dec 24, 2019 | kunstler.com

abbybwood December 23, 2019 at 2:10 pm #

Considering there are three billion Muslims determined to rule the planet with their Sharia Law and forcing everyone to face Mecca five times a day to "pray" while waiting for Mahamed to return, adding to that millions of Christians, many nutty enough to believe we need a nuclear war destroying Israel in order to save it and cause Jesus to return on a cloud, plus good luck converting the billions of Chinese to ANY of this! Destroy the planet in order to save it! Light a candle, take off your shoes and burn some incense! The end is nigh!!!

Human beings on this planet, I have come to believe, are all just batshit crazy and delusional regarding their various "beliefs".

Just look at what that nut editor of "Christianity Today" did to President Trump!

For God's sake! (cough), Trump and his GOP crew are against abortion, going so far as to stop ALL funding of abortions with federal money, they hate the Commies and on and on. Probably the fact that neither Trump nor his wife have set foot in a church on a Sunday morning in four years toting his well-worn Bible, was what really did him in! No regular photo-ops like with Jimmy and Rosalind or Bill and Hillary. Tsk, tsk

Seriously. I am almost 70 years old and have lived in Los Angeles for the past ten years. This place has no soul. My friend and I want to leave and buy a small house in a nice town with normal people. The only problem is that any of these towns that might exist are filled with depressed people, some slumped over their steering wheels dying of heroin overdoses while their toddler children sit in the back seats of the cars freezing, screaming and starving.

Starving for food, warmth and affection.

Too old to fight the snow and frozen roads and sidewalks. Wish I had a pretty lake to swim in Spring, Summer and Fall with a nice mild Winter.

And the quaint town of my childhood back again.

I wish it wasn't so, but I will probably die here in this hell hole with nothing but my memories of swimming lakes and pretty gardens with bluebirds and robins and cardinals singing.

And in my memories I can hear my grandma saying, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride".

Merry Christmas.

elysianfield December 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

"And, maybe someone can refresh our memories on when was the time in human history that we were not faced with "apocalypse"? "

shotho,
Perhaps, because we all carry the seed of our personal apocalypse?

[Dec 24, 2019] Trannies are hot

Dec 24, 2019 | kunstler.com

4014HAMPHEDGE December 23, 2019 at 11:11 am #

Will we still have boys and girls & trains? Log in to Reply

RIB December 23, 2019 at 11:30 am #

No, just boys and girls and trans Log in to Reply

Ishabaka December 23, 2019 at 2:26 pm #

Transgenders are the new saints of the alt-left. No one dare criticize them, everyone wants their child to be one, no expense must be spared in glorifying them.

Ishabaka December 23, 2019 at 2:27 pm #

And I left out – President Liz promises to dedicate a day to our transgender martyrs.

hmuller December 23, 2019 at 11:38 am #

Did you mean to write "trains" or "trans"?

I read JHK's post-apocalypse 4 book series. Don't remember any trannies. A word of advice to Jim. If you want the establishment media's seal of approval you better put some drag queens in volume 5. Tough ones who read library stories and practice kung-fu on the bad guys. Some real role models for the young kids.

As I recall, the critics said your female characters were too feminine. So include some butchie bitches next time. The New York Times might finally have a kind word.

[Dec 24, 2019] NPR reporting about Paris strikes: My nanny is inconvenienced. I am inconvenienced. Workers' pensions are all well and good, but what is that compared to my inconvenience?

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , December 23, 2019 at 12:09 pm

adding: I listened to part of an NPR report on the French strikes. It was a first person account by the young US reporter (judging from her voice) living in Paris about how the strike was affecting her. She started out well enough, then complained that the strike makes it hard for her nanny to travel to-from her apartment, making it a terrible hardship on the nanny, and upsetting her childcare arrangement. Then her real complaint about the strikes was aired: it's making it ever so much harder for her, the intrepid reporter, to travel to all the upscale holiday parties she's been invited to. (Oh, the humanity!)

NPR foreign correspondents today; "My nanny is inconvenienced. I am inconvenienced. Workers' pensions are all well and good, but what is that compared to my inconvenience?!"

Not exactly Eric Sevareid reporting from London during the blitz

chuck roast , December 23, 2019 at 6:58 pm

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting!

There fixed it.

[Dec 24, 2019] Easier to demonize Putin than to have long boring articles about how different countries have different national interests, and how he works for Russia not us.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Carey , December 23, 2019 at 5:15 pm

According to MoA this NYT RussiaRussia piece was originally headlined 'It's Putin's World. We Just Live in It':

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/world/europe/russia-putin.html

they're getting frantic

Summer , December 23, 2019 at 5:41 pm

"That the diminutive new president had grown in her memory " They really are throwing everything in the psyops kitchen sink.

polecat , December 23, 2019 at 5:51 pm

It's all just corny starch & flint water. It looks solid until it doesn't

LifelongLib , December 23, 2019 at 6:27 pm

Easier to demonize Putin than to have long boring articles about how different countries have different national interests, and how he works for Russia not us. To say nothing about discussing who exactly is it that decides what national interests are anyway

CoryP , December 24, 2019 at 1:26 am

I very much enjoy watching or reading Putin's speeches. No doubt he's lying in the same way all politicians do. Yet, when he castigates the West he is right on target and I like him for it.

[Dec 24, 2019] Now nobody wants to be the one who lost Afghanistan, negotiating the terms of America's surrender to the Taliban will have awful optics

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

zagonostra , December 23, 2019 at 7:41 am

>What the Afghanistan Papers got wrong

The "Afghanistan Papers" are not the "secret history" the Post says they are. What struck me as I read them, was how drearily familiar it all was The real problem is not that bureaucrats and politicians lied to the public, but that the institutional incentives of our foreign policy often encouraged them to lie to themselves.

And why would they "lie to themselves?" The article doesn't dig deep enough. Rather than accept that the Afghanistan war was a failure, viewed from the trillion dollars plus dollars spent over 18 years, maybe it was a resounding success. Maybe instead of the WaPo doing a retaliatory "expose" it really is just running cognitive interference.

Yes, if it was a failure, lessons can be learned, but what if it went all according to plan, what if there really never was a desire to stamp out the poppy trade or root out the terrorist, what if there are more nefarious forces at work? Or, maybe I've come to a point in when I read any MSM story my first instinct is what's their angle, where do these bread crumbs they are dropping for me lead to, or away from?

Wukchumni , December 23, 2019 at 10:01 am

An English fellow I knew was the master of understatement, and when he related that he made "a small but useful profit' on something, it meant he caught a whale, but claimed it was a minnow.

'Bread crumbs' is a nice way of describing making money on a war you really don't want to ever see the ending of, as it's just too profitable and to quit cold turkey would doom the bottom line.

David , December 23, 2019 at 10:02 am

The article is basically right. My own experience with the subject and in the country is a lot less than that of the author, but this accords with what I saw and heard. In fact it was worse than that, because this series of stories is confined to the US, but many other nations were involved as well, as was a complete alphabet soup of international organizations from the UN and the EU downwards, with almost no real coordination and often conflicts of objectives and interests.

In spite of many attempts, there never was an agreed strategy, and within a couple of years people who'd been involved were saying basically what these articles are saying now.

Why? Well two reasons in my experience. First is the sunk costs problem. The longer an operation like this goes on, the longer it will go on, because it becomes progressively more difficult to explain why you are pulling out when all this money and all these lives have been apparently wasted. So the temptation is to stay and just hope that next year things will get better. There are also lots of mega-political reasons for the US not to pull out which have nothing to do with the country itself – NATO leadership, image vs Russia etc. etc. These things are important for some people. As a result, rather than asking yourself what you are trying to accomplish, you wind up trying to accomplish what you think you can do – destroying poppy, for example, was never part of the original plan, but became so because in theory it could be measured.

In addition, the military in every society are very mission oriented, and, whilst they are in the field, will try their best to make whatever the politicians want them to do work. It's later that they start to have doubts. After all, nobody will follow a General who tells his men that the whole thing is a waste of time, whatever they may privately think. This is a well-known problem in all counter insurgency wars.

So no, it's not the Pentagon Papers 2 – all this has been known to anybody interested for a good fifteen years, and I've heard many people, military and civilians, say these sorts of things when they come back from the front, even if they tend to be professionally optimistic when they are there.

Donald , December 23, 2019 at 10:05 am

"Professionally optimistic" is doing a lot of work there.

I don't doubt the specifics of what you say, but all this professional optimism is the problem.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , December 23, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Now nobody wants to be the one who "lost" Afghanistan, negotiating the terms of America's surrender to the Taliban will have awful optics.

I like what the Chinese did with the Uighur concentration camps: they declared that all of the Uighurs had now "graduated".

Maybe get one of the Taliban guys to lose the headcovering and robes, put him in a suit and tie and have a "historic" signing of a "peace deal".

(They won't have footage of helicopters being pushed off the decks of aircraft carriers but maybe they can drive multi million dollar tanks off a cliff or something)

JBird4049 , December 23, 2019 at 6:50 pm

I keep hearing John Kerry's question "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" on Vietnam.

Wonderful isn't? 48 years since then and 44 years since the last helicopter flew off the embassy's rooftop in Saigon and we haven't learned anything except being better propagandists, crooks, liars, and credulous fools.

JTMcPhee , December 23, 2019 at 10:30 am

Speaking of officers encouraging the troops, "leading," I recall a scene in one of the several Notagainistan documentaries quite a few years ago, where a colonel in the US Marines (going from memory, I did not bookmark the video) was heating up his troops for a New Push into I believe Wardak Province,, or maybe Kandahar. Telling the Troops to keep in their fighting hearts the knowledge that this was going to be the operation that broke the back of The Enemy, that they should remember every moment of it so they could tell their grandchildren that they were part of the great victory in this noble effort.

Quite the locker room speech, as I recall it -- late enough in "the war" that his delivery was pretty insincere, and the growled responses from the Troops made it unclear what muddled motivations they might have, after a couple of "deployments" getting blown up by IEDs and "kicking in doors in Kandahar " And in the rest of the world: http://vvawai.org/archive/wot/kicking-doors.html

The documenters were good enough to point out that said colonel had helicoptered in to the marshaling area for the Big Push, then hopped back into his nicely appointed personal Blackhawk and flown away. Leading from the rear

"Professional optimism," indeed. All of a piece with today's discussion of CEO compensation (aka "looting.")

nippersdad , December 23, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but prior to our invasion of Afghanistan there was no poppy problem because the Taliban did not permit it to be grown. Poppy growing for cash crops only began after the insurgency to pay for weapons to fight the US forces there. So that is more a measure of blowback than an initial aim of the invasion.

Further, I distinctly remember the Taliban saying that they did not have the ability to root out AQ themselves, and just before the invasion they actually invited GWB to send in the troops to get them. The fact that GWB ignored this invitation in favor of an invasion makes the entire process a measure of blowback rather than progress.

It just strikes me that this was always just an excuse to start a war that accreted yet more excuses to stay in one.

Pat , December 23, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Right up there with going without a plan. By refusing the hard choice to keep all the competing factions out of power (Taliban, Northern Alliance, Warlords) and refusing to have new deal/bottom up extensive reconstruction plans for rebuilding they guaranteed Afghanistan would not recover but remained mired in conflict and corruption.

Instead they went placeholder revenge war until they could get the ill conceived invasion they wanted.

JTMcPhee , December 23, 2019 at 1:22 pm

The hubris is endless. All that was required to ensure "a good outcome" would have been to have that plan "to keep all the competing factions out of power (?Taliban, Northern Alliance, Warlords," and then to have a "NewDeal.bottom up rebuilding ([sic -- one can't "rebuild" what was never built in the first place]." Just "keep them out of power." Say what?

Then, that land of "tribes with flags" would somehow "recover" (from what -- the invasion and destruction of all that "war" stuff?) and "democratically" avoid all the conflict and corruption that are endemic to the terrain. A War College pipe dream, as in opium pipe? That somehow a Middle Class and Constitutional Rule of Law and Chambers of Commerce and all that would grow out of the rocks and brambles?

Pat , December 23, 2019 at 10:00 pm

Choosing to empower warring factions and rebuild the opium trade which that did wasn't hubris? We already know that it did little or nothing for the majority of the population. If you are going to kick out a ruling party maybe not pick the successors especially when your choice is based on who will take bribes to traffic guns and disruption to neighboring areas.

We have never really tried a real hearts and minds operation. Seeds, farm equipment, tools, schools, roads, building supplies and providing the time and space to use them.

I don't think there was a chance of there being no military response. Saner and better respected leadership might have been able to do something limited and directed, but not one better idea between doing nothing and what we did appears to have ever been considered.

lyman alpha blob , December 23, 2019 at 4:15 pm

And not only that, but don't forget that not all that long before invading Afghanistan, Dick Cheney and crew were meeting with the Taliban in TX to discuss a possible pipeline – https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/01/10/bush-enron-unocal-and-the-taliban/

The Rev Kev , December 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm

It was not long before 9/11 that Cheney and crew had the Taliban in the US and took them around to Disneyland, I kid you not. I have no idea what they thought that would do for religious fundamentalists.

Pat , December 23, 2019 at 10:11 pm

They always had big plans for the Middle East. In lots of areas.
Never forget that Cheney had barely gotten sworn in before he was on a diplomatic junket to The ME and Europe to try to drum up a coalition to address the problem of Iraq. Funnily enough saner people tried to tell him the problems were Israel, Palestine and yes terrorists fixated on those areas. That didn't stop them from having plans for an invasion of Iraq on Rumsfeld's desk seven months later on 9/11.

VietnamVet , December 23, 2019 at 10:56 pm

Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq and Syria are exactly like South Vietnam. If American Elite and Technocrats admitted that the US Army was middle of a Civil War, invaders, and on the side of warlords; they'd admit that it is pointless except to profit from the death and chaos. None of the wars are in Americans' best interests. That realization ends the money flow. Corruption is the applicable term.

It would be like Boeing admitting it killed 346 people and will kill more unless they have a cultural change and spend money for the right people and rebuild an organization that works together to build and fly airliners safely.

Donald , December 23, 2019 at 10:02 am

Yeah that article was just another " but we had good intentions" riff. As you suggest, the reason people keep " failing" in these spectacular ways is that there is a lot of money to be made in " failure", especially when accountability amounts to people saying " but we meant well -- we just didn't understand".

xkeyscored , December 23, 2019 at 12:07 pm

what if there really never was a desire to stamp out the poppy trade
When the US began arming the Mujahiddin back in '79, it was accepted that opium smugglers were ideally suited to smuggling weapons into Afghanistan. And when the US invaded in 2001, it was in support of the Northern Alliance, well known for their involvement in the opium business.
Since then, one of the few areas of development in the country has been the refining of opium into heroin domestically, rather than exporting it raw.
No, there never was a desire to eradicate poppy.

Ford Prefect , December 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm

The whole Afghanistan campaign (after the first year which was generally successful at achieving its limited goal) has reminded me of the Tet offensive in Vietnam where entire divisions of North Vietnamese soldiers infiltrated areas, including major cities, and no locals would tell anybody. If you have that little support of the local population, then there is no way you can "win a war" without simply simply creating a police state where everybody's every move is monitored or committing genocide and wiping everybody out.

If the US couldn't identify partners that could get the population support, then the whole "nation-building" exercise (a tacked-on goal) was doomed to failure. If the police and soldiers aren't willing to fight for their government, then there isn't much purpose in creating one.

I think the biggest US foreign policy failure is generally the assumption that everybody wants to be just like the US. The Marshall Plan and Cold War were able to create stable democracies in Western Europe and Japan where there weren't ones before. But these are the exceptions to the rule. Most other countries have started with or reverted to strongmen or simply devolved into chaos.

JBird4049 , December 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Then there is the installing the corrupt and often very partisan leadership to run the countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Vietnam while pushing away any honest, or at sincerely patriotic, leadership. It seems that being good for business is more important than being good for a country, forget about winning a war.

[Dec 23, 2019] NYT neocon propaganda sing in unison with GE's harpy, Rachel Maddow

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

FSD , Dec 23 2019 14:48 utc | 1

The USA desperately need another resource-rich country to loot and can't find suitable candidate other then Russia. So MIC prostitute Madcow is just a dog of war. The USA deperately need another resource-rich country to loot and can't find sutable candiadate othe then Russia

There is no credible analyst not shackled to the MIC trough who ventures such an analysis beyond of course GE's W-2 harpie, Rachel Maddow.

The Western elites have long decided. WW3 is coming. In recent years, the Russians have repeatedly tried to get this message through the western Mediadrome, but to little effect.

The job of the GE spokespeople (Maddow et al) is diversionary/ preparatory spadework i.e. to drill with numbing repetition into the American consciousness who the enemy is. And you can bet the enemy is not who signs their paychecks. Their employers though happen to be OUR enemy.

Thus we find ourselves in the odd position of having Russia's top general attempting to shout through the Maddow racket that our two nations are on a collision course for war. Strange messenger. Or maybe not. They want to live too.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/ /russias-top-general-warns-wor

Russia is in demographic collapse. It lacks the human capital to exploit even its own vast resource trove. The western banking system is over-leveraged. The imaginary numbers have gotten too big. Its 'denominator of the real' badly needs shoring up.

Russian resource wealth, Iran's massive South Pars LNG field are viewed with watering eyes as prolongations of the doomed Ponzi. Europe is energy-poor, geriatric and overrun with Islamic jihadists. With all due respect, who would want it at this late stage? At best, it is a funding source --and a battleground-- for WW3.

Meanwhile the Ponzi is ravenous and never sleeps. No growth - negative interest rates is a bell-ringer for WW3. The alternative is deflationary collapse. Maddow's been mysteriously cranked up again: Rushah Rushah!

So we find ourselves in another Goebellian shift: accuse the opposition of your own ulterior motives. They have no designs on us. Our overlords have designs on them.

Americans are just the People in the middle, hostages in a sense yet seemingly feared enough that our minds are still worth battling over. Trump's affinities are too populist. He's a dodgy helmsman for the massive undertaking of a world war where the people are only to be galvanized, not consulted.

Far from a duteous seat-warmer, he's a leader who squeaked through. The Oval Office is no place for leaders. It was thought to have been neutered of all that leadership malarkey post-JFK. Trump's not enough to hold back the MIC. No POTUS is. He either must depart the job or be compromised into executing the plan. But he's a bad Lieutenant. They'll never be comfortable with him.

Then some evil, diseased mind had an epiphany. Don't just Get Trump! Get a twofer! Get Trump and Russah! Weld them together for one kill-shot. Collusion means no daylight and one bullet. Yes, there's a genius to it, a very sick genius.

Annie , Dec 23 2019 15:29 utc | 4

B, great article as usual but disappointed that you didn't write about the latest sanctions on N2.

Another act of WAR by the US. These sanctions now cover the comoany, Allseas, laying the pipeline to Germany. They ceased operations and will not complete the project and Gazprom does not have the expertise. Would love to see your

analysis on that.
The NYT propaganda, true to form and loyal to Dem Russophobes just one more attempt to manufacture consent

This is maddening. These crazies are looking for war on Russia. Are the American people stupid enough to give that consent?

Piotr Berman , Dec 23 2019 15:30 utc | 5
My NYT site has the title "Russia Is a Mess. Why Is Putin Such a Formidable Enemy?"

Some quotes:
---- 1 ----
Under Mr. Putin, Vladislav Surkov, a longtime Kremlin adviser, wrote in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a Moscow newspaper, earlier this year, Russia "is playing with the West's minds."

Also its own.
---- 2 ----
All the same, said Gleb Pavlovsky, a political scientist who worked for more than a decade as a Kremlin adviser, Russia under Mr. Putin still reminds him of a sci-fi movie exoskeleton: "Inside is sitting a small, weak and perhaps frightened person, but from the outside it looks terrifying."
---- 3 ----
Whatever its problems, Mr. Surkov, the Kremlin adviser, said, Russia has created "the ideology of the future" by dispensing with the "illusion of choice" offered by the West and rooting itself in the will of a single leader capable of swiftly making the choices without constraint.

China, too, has advocated autocracy as the way to get results fast, but even Xi Jinping, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, can't match the lightening speed with which Mr. Putin ordered and executed the seizure of Crimea. The decision to grab the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine was made at a single all-night Kremlin meeting in February 2014 and then carried out just four days later with the dispatch of a few score Russian special forces officers to seize a handful of government buildings in Simferopol, the Crimean capital.
==========
If true, the resources committed to "Crimea takeover" were comparable with what Israel committed to assassinate one person, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, dispatching a team of 33 to Dubai in January 2010. Wasn't the superior productivity the strength of the West?

And this is not a joke. Putin is a maniac for balanced budgets, and compared to the expansive American style, the resources committed by Syria were minuscule. And by all accounts, spend well.

REUTERS. Oct 2, 2015 - U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that its bombing campaign against Syrian rebels will suck Moscow into a "quagmire," after a third straight day of air raids in support of President Bashar al-Assad. <<-- Obama was well aware that Russia committed a very small number of troops, and smallish air force that his military expert were describing as obsolete. Russia could not be many times more effective than USA, could it?

No sign of Obama's predicted 'quagmire' as Russia's ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com › world › 2016/09/30
Sep 30, 2016 - BEIRUT -- In the year since Russia began conducting airstrikes in support of the Syrian government, the intervention has worked to secure two ...

That explains the next quote from today NYT
---- 4 ----
"Maybe he's holding small cards, but he seems unafraid to play them," said Michael McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Moscow and now a scholar at Stanford. "That's what makes Putin so scary."
=========
Seems that Establishment scours most elite universities, Harvard, Yale, Stanford , Princeton etc. for the dumbest possible graduates. I know from private sources that not all graduates are dumb, many are actually brilliant. Does it occur to McFaul that boldness in playing small cards is even worse than playing large card? Russia (and Assad's partisans in Syria) had to do something well that USA (in government supporters in Afghanistan) did not do at all or did badly.

[Dec 23, 2019] Love but not from the first sight

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

onwisconsinbadger , 35 minutes ago link

In May 2016, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, famously proclaimed that, "If we [Republicans] nominate Trump, we will get destroyed and we will deserve it." Since then, Graham has become one of President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders, making Graham the target of critics who paint him as a hypocrite for repeatedly contradicting his previously expressed stances.

In 2015, for example, Graham called Donald Trump a "race-baiting xenophobic bigot," but by 2018 he was claiming that he had "never heard [Trump] make a single racist statement." And in 1999, during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton (a Democrat), Graham asserted that an impeachable offense "doesn't even have to be a crime," but then in 2019 Graham challenged those calling for the impeachment of Trump to "show me something that is a crime"

[Dec 23, 2019] Several House Democrats got up and spoke of how impeachment was like the civil rights movement. I guess they forgot it was the Democratic Party who defended slavery

Dec 23, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

21 hours ago

It was interesting watching the impeachment vote on the House floor. Several House Democrats got up and spoke of how impeachment was like the civil rights movement. I guess they forgot it was the Democratic Party who defended slavery, founded the clan, imposed segregation, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s.

[Dec 23, 2019] Hugo Boss could probably make some nice uniforms for the space force

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trond , Dec 22 2019 19:54 utc | 31

Hugo Boss could probably make some nice uniforms for the space force...

Russell Brand Rips on GQ Hugo Boss and Syria War:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inB-6R1-4ng

Or they could use Star Trek-uniforms, if they were not already used by someone else...

Picard is back:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_Picard

uncle tungsten , Dec 22 2019 20:12 utc | 39

Spaceforce uniform and so on. Can it be called The Mighty Muskateers after Elon's rocket.
Maybe Boeing Brigade as they can be sure of returning to earth. One way or another.
At least the good colonel has his priorities right - the patch is mission critical.

[Dec 23, 2019] The order in which Russians and Americans will get ot heavens in case of nuclear war

This was a reply to the jarhead Mattis who mentioned the possibly of a preemptive strike on Russia because of allegations they are violating a missile treaty.
Dec 23, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

"We have no concept of a preemptive strike," Putin told a forum of international experts in the southern city of Sochi in response to a question from the audience.

"In such a situation, we expect to be struck by nuclear weapons, but we will not use them" first, he said.

"The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.

"They will simply die because they won't even have time to repent,"

Bobbie

last year Russia is a Christian nation since the Soviet Union fell. They believe in the 10 Commandments one of which is do not murder. E D

last year Yup a reply to the jarhead Mattis who mentioned the possibly of a preemptive strike on Russia because of allegations they are violating a missile treaty.Yup should start showing the movies 'Fail Safe' New Bedford Incident', 'The Day After', 'Dr Strange Love, ' Missiles of October' now on TV prime time spots. No JFK or RFK to hold the generals in check this time.and God indeed will judge them for the billions that die.

Reply

last year If it had not been for one brave Soviet officer during the Cuban missle crisis it is likely few of us would be reading how "unlikely" the communists are to launch a first strike. I consider Vasili Arkhipov to be a hero but he was not necessarily viewed that way in Russia. He probably prevented a nuclear world war III. Please read his story...
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/cold-war/vasili-cuban-missile-crisis.html Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet naval officer who, upon making a split second decision, prevented the Cuban Missile Crisis from escalating into a nuclear Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet naval officer who, upon making a split second decision, prevented the Cuban Missile Crisis from escalating into a nuclear www.warhistoryonline.com wootendw

last year Just a warning to nutjobs in the US who believe Russia won't use nukes because they know they'll be destroyed. Even if there isn't a heaven, what happened to Libya and Qaddafi was WORSE than nuclear war. Having lost 20m in WWII, Russia will certainly use nukes in defense EVEN IF THE WEST ONLY ATTACKS THEM WITH CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS Bond000000007

last year Russia is obviously not the evil society or culture that the evil west is drumming propaganda against at every opportunity It is unfortunate the western world has evolved very negative socially; surviving at the cost of lies, murder, cheating, beliefs in the cultural superiority of the Anglo-Saxons, domination of the world and name it! If it is true that Russia has achieved the military advances that Russia has publicly made known and if that was the western world, then they would have most likely planned for a schedule of striking Russia and China in order to bring the world to the level of subjugation that was existing in the colonial era and even practically now where they are telling countries which community should lead a country at the national level and which ones and which ones should work on cohesion of the nation etc. Without any pretence, a one world government will bring the world to subjugation which will be more less comparable to the era of slavery! Alex

last year

One correction: Putin didn't say "our enemies will just die", he said "our enemies will croak" , he used an informal word 'сдохнут' - zdokhnut.

[Dec 23, 2019] Trump: Nancy Pelosi is looking for a Quid Pro Quo with the Senate. Why aren't we Impeaching her?

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump weighed in on the saga Sunday, suggesting that Democrats have realised they are driving off a cliff:

Crazy Nancy wants to dictate terms on the Impeachment Hoax to the Republican Majority Senate, but striped away all Due Process, no lawyers or witnesses, on the Democrat Majority House. The Dems just wish it would all end. Their case is dead, their poll numbers are horrendous!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2019

He also asked why Pelosi isn't being impeached for her own 'quid pro quo':

Nancy Pelosi is looking for a Quid Pro Quo with the Senate. Why aren't we Impeaching her?

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019

[Dec 23, 2019] Clinton Impeachment 'Judge' Trump Impeachment Is Phony

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump weighed in on the saga Sunday, suggesting that Democrats have realised they are driving off a cliff:

Crazy Nancy wants to dictate terms on the Impeachment Hoax to the Republican Majority Senate, but striped away all Due Process, no lawyers or witnesses, on the Democrat Majority House. The Dems just wish it would all end. Their case is dead, their poll numbers are horrendous!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2019

He also asked why Pelosi isn't being impeached for her own 'quid pro quo':

Nancy Pelosi is looking for a Quid Pro Quo with the Senate. Why aren't we Impeaching her?

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019

[Dec 23, 2019] If Putin was smart and freedom loving he'd get some western economic experts, from Harvard Business School say, to help get the Russian economy booming but he's paranoid and doesn't trust the west for some reason.

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Danny , Dec 23 2019 17:09 utc | 16

In Canada the cost of living outpaces wages by a considerable margin, consumer debt is the highest in the G7, permanent homeless camps are a fixture in major cities and popping up in smaller ones, people, including families, living in their vehicles is becoming normalized, an ongoing opioid epidemic is still killing hundreds of people a month, etc. etc.

But the media keeps telling me unemployment is at record lows and the economy is "red hot" and "booming" so it's all good, nothing to worry about thank God because the free and democratic media here in the west never lies or traffics in distorted facts and disinformation. It only prints and broadcasts The Truth and I'm really happy about that, very relieved that everything is just fine and wonderful and all the bad things and the bad people and the bad economies are in China, Russia and scary places like that. It's great living in a place that's so free and awesome and knows only joy and prosperity!

If Putin was smart and freedom loving he'd get some western economic experts, from Harvard Business School say, to help get the Russian economy booming but he's paranoid and doesn't trust the west for some reason.

The uneasiness I feel as I stumble over the sleeping homeless people on my way to the bus stop in the morning is irrational and foolish and was planted in my mind by Russian troll bots on Facebook. I understand this now. Everything is wonderful here, now and always. With Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland at the helm and a first class media dedicated to Truth why would anyone worry or be mistrustful of our great Leaders and our Democratic Institutions? We are the envy of the world and that makes Putin's Russia jealous and meddlesome. I understand this now and channel all my news through an Atlantic Council Fake News Filter plugin so all the Putinist mind warping stuff on Facebook can't affect me anymore.

Sorry that was a long post, lol. Anyways my friend I hope you are well even though I am sad that you still have a false paranoia about Our Western Media spreading Fake News. It's Putin bro, not "us"! I understand this now broke lurker cover to share my insight with you so that you too can learn to speak only Teh Truth. The Russian economy is spluttering badly and here in Canada everything is wonderful! In Germany too! They hate our freedom and therefore it's always bad there. The Democratic West will save the Putinist economy when Putin learns to love and trust the West like I do (and hopefully you)! Peace out bro and much love, eh, haha.

[Dec 23, 2019] I Never Saw a World So Fragmented!

Dec 23, 2019 | astutenews.com

December 22, 2019 A Opinion Leave a comment It is amazing how easily, without resistance, the Western empire is managing to destroy "rebellious" countries that are standing in its way.

... ... ...

For instance, in 2015 and in 2019, I tried to sit down and reason with the Hong Kong rioters. It was a truly revealing experience! They knew nothing, absolutely zero about the crimes the West has been committing in places such as Afghanistan, Syria or Libya. When I tried to explain to them, how many Latin American democracies Washington had overthrown, they thought I was a lunatic. How could the good, tender, 'democratic' West murder millions, and bathe entire continents in blood? That is not what they were taught at their universities. That is not what the BBC, CNN or even the China Morning Post said and wrote.

Look, I am serious. I showed them photos from Afghanistan and Syria; photos stored in my phone. They must have understood that this was original, first hand stuff. Still, they looked, but their brains were not capable of processing what they were being shown. Images and words; these people were conditioned not to comprehend certain types of information.

But this is not only happening in Hong Kong, a former British colony.

... .... ...

You will maybe find it hard to believe, but even in a Communist country like Vietnam; a proud country, a country which suffered enormously from both French colonialism and the U.S. mad and brutal imperialism, people that I associated with (and I lived in Hanoi for 2 years) knew close to nothing about the horrendous crimes committed against the poor and defenseless neighboring Laos, by the U.S. and its allies during the so-called "Secret War"; crimes that included the bombing of peasants and water buffalos, day and night, by strategic B-52 bombers. And in Laos, where I covered de-mining efforts, people knew nothing about the same monstrosities that the West had committed in Cambodia; murdering hundreds of thousands of people by carpet bombing, displacing millions of peasants from their homes, triggering famine and opening the doors to the Khmer Rouge takeover.

When I am talking about this shocking lack of knowledge in Vietnam, regarding the region and what it was forced to go through, I am not speaking just about the shop-keepers or garment workers. It applies to Vietnamese intellectuals, artists, teachers. It is total amnesia, and it came with the so-called 'opening up' to the world, meaning with the consumption of Western mass media and later by the infiltration of social media.

At least Vietnam shares borders as well as a turbulent history with both Laos and Cambodia.

But imagine two huge countries with only maritime borders, like the Philippines and Indonesia. Some Manila dwellers I met thought that Indonesia was in Europe.

Now guess, how many Indonesians know about the massacres that the United States committed in the Philippines a century ago, or how the people in the Philippines were indoctrinated by Western propaganda about the entire South East Asia? Or, how many Filipinos know about the U.S.-triggered 1965 military coup, which deposed the internationalist President Sukarno, killing between 2-3 million intellectuals, teachers, Communists and unionists in "neighboring" Indonesia?

Look at the foreign sections of the Indonesian or Filipino newspapers, and what will you see; the same news from Reuters, AP, AFP. In fact, you will also see the same reports in the news outlets of Kenya, India, Uganda, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Guatemala, and the list goes on and on. It is designed to produce one and only one result: absolute fragmentation!

***

The fragmentation of the world is amazing, and it is increasing with time. Those who hoped that the internet would improve the situation, grossly miscalculated.

With a lack of knowledge, solidarity has disappeared, too.

Right now, all over the world, there are riots and revolutions. I am covering the most significant ones; in the Middle East, in Latin America, and in Hong Kong.

Let me be frank: there is absolutely no understanding in Lebanon about what is going on in Hong Kong, or in Bolivia, Chile and Colombia.

Western propaganda throws everything into one sack.

In Hong Kong, rioters indoctrinated by the West are portrayed as "pro-democracy protesters". They kill, burn, beat up people, but they are still the West's favorites. Because they are antagonizing the People's Republic of China, now the greatest enemy of Washington. And because they were created and sustained by the West.

In Bolivia, the anti-imperialist President was overthrown in a Washington orchestrated coup, but the mostly indigenous people who are demanding his return are portrayed as rioters.

In Lebanon, as well as Iraq, protesters are treated kindly by both Europe and the United States, mainly because the West hopes that pro-Iranian Hezbollah and other Shi'a groups and parties could be weakened by the protests.

The clearly anti-capitalist and anti-neo-liberal revolution in Chile, as well as the legitimate protests in Colombia, are reported as some sort of combination of explosion of genuine grievances, and hooliganism and looting. Mike Pompeo recently warned that the United States will support right-wing South American governments, in their attempt to maintain order.

All this coverage is nonsense. In fact, it has one and only one goal: to confuse viewers and readers. To make sure that they know nothing or very little. And that, at the end of the day, they collapse on their couches with deep sighs: "Oh, the world is in turmoil!"

***

It also leads to the tremendous fragmentation of countries on each continent, and of the entire global south.

Asian countries know very little about each other. The same goes for Africa and the Middle East. In Latin America, it is Russia, China and Iran who are literally saving the life of Venezuela. Fellow Latin American nations, with the one shiny exception of Cuba, do zero to help. All Latin American revolutions are fragmented. All U.S. produced coups basically go unopposed.

The same situation is occurring all over the Middle East and Asia. There are no internationalist brigades defending countries destroyed by the West. The big predator comes and attacks its prey. It is a horrible sight, as a country dies in front of the world, in terrible agony. No one interferes. Everybody just watches.

One after another, countries are falling.

This is not how states in the 21st Century should behave. This is the law of attraction the jungle. When I used to live in Africa, making documentary films in Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, driving through the wilderness; this is how animals were behaving, not people. Big cats finding their victim. A zebra, or a gazelle. And the hunt would begin: a terrible occurrence. Then the slow killing; eating the victim alive.

Quite similar to the so-called Monroe doctrine.

The Empire has to kill. Periodically. With predictable regularity.

And no one does anything. The world is watching. Pretending that nothing extraordinary is taking place.

One wonders: can legitimate revolution succeed under such conditions? Can any democratically elected socialist government survive? Or does everything decent, hopeful, and optimistic always ends up as the prey to a degenerate, brutal and vulgar empire?

If that is the case, what's the point of playing by the rules? Obviously, the rules are rotten. They exist only in order to uphold the status quo. They protect the colonizers, and castigate the rebellions victims.

But that's not what I wanted to discuss here, today.

My point is: the victims are divided. They know very little about each other. The struggles for true freedom, are fragmented. Those who fight, and bleed, but fight nevertheless, are often antagonized by their less daring fellow victims.

I have never seen the world so divided. Is the Empire succeeding, after all?

Yes and no.

Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela – they have already woken up. They stood up. They are learning about each other, from each other.

Without solidarity, there can be no victory. Without knowledge, there can be no solidarity.

Intellectual courage is now clearly coming from Asia, from the "East". In order to change the world, Western mass media has to be marginalized, confronted. All Western concepts, including "democracy", "peace", and "human rights" have to be questioned, and redefined.

And definitely, knowledge.

We need a new world, not an improved one.

The world does not need London, New York and Paris to teach it about itself.

Fragmentation has to end. Nations have to learn about each other, directly. If they do, true revolutions would soon succeed, while subversions and fake color revolutions like those in Hong Kong, Bolivia and all over the Middle East, will be regionally confronted, and prevented from ruining millions of human lives.


By Andre Vltchek
Source: New Eastern Outlook

[Dec 23, 2019] The Latest Globalist Accusations Against Russia are Preposterous, They Now Include 'Racism'

Notable quotes:
"... As summed up by Jodi Jacobson of Rewire.News (" Putin, Trump, and Kavanaugh: A Triad of White Supremacy and Oligarchy "): ..."
"... 'Putin is a dictator. His interests are in amassing wealth and power at any cost, both in Russia and globally. He is an ethnic nationalist , a white supremacist , and an Islamophobe . He aligns himself with radical right-wing religious and political groups to marginalize and attack the rights of women, LGBTQ communities, and religious and ethnic groups outside his power base.' ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

It is debatable how much of the US government Trump actually controls. The baseless CW finding by the State Department (with heavy pressure from Congress) is the work of Trump's globalist enemies in the bureaucracy and in Congress ( all of the Democrats, and almost all of the Republicans ), with the complicity of his own appointees, to undermine his overtures to Moscow and further erode his Executive authority. Besides blocking every possible path to détente with Russia, this is another step to setting Trump up for removal from office.

Regarding the timing of a second set of sanctions set to kick in November, it's hard to see how that will be avoided. Russia will not submit to inspections, which the US is arrogantly demanding of Russia, as if she were some pipsqueak country like Libya. Given that the OPCW certified in 2017 that the Russians had completed destruction of 100% of their CW stockpile (cf., the US still has almost 10% of our stocks, which are not expected to be completely gone until 2023), the demand is the equivalent of proving that you have stopped beating your wife (to the satisfaction of someone who admittedly continues to beat his own wife).

In the absence of capitulating to the US demand, which Russia will not do, legally Trump can waive the sanctions. But that option is no doubt part of the political trap being laid for him, presenting him a Hobson's choice.

On the one hand, he can waive the sanctions, further hyping the charges of treason against him (and, if the waiver is before the elections, giving the Democrats another red flag to wave), as well as inviting new legislation passed by a margin "Putin's puppet" cannot veto;

or he can let them go into effect.

If, as seems likely, the harsher measures are applied it is hard to overstate the danger created. These are the kind of things that countries do just one step from totally breaking relations in advance of war: cutting off access to American banks, barring Aeroflot from the US (in context, the least of our concerns, though symbolic), effectively blocking all exports and imports, and downgrading or suspending diplomatic ties. With respect to the last – a direct assault on Trump's presidential authority to send and receive ambassadors under Article II of the Constitution (oddly, no one in Congress seems to care that presidents routinely usurp their authority to make war) – this likely would mean withdrawing the US ambassador from Moscow and expelling the Russian ambassador in Washington, while maintaining relations if at all at the chargé d'affaires level.

In word, this is insanity. What's perhaps worse is that this political warfare is being conducted with total disregard for the truth, much less an honest attempt to find it. It's worse than a presumption of guilt; it's a positive, unambiguous verdict of culpability under circumstances where the accusers in Washington and London (I would guess but cannot prove) know perfectly well that the CW finger pointing is false.

It has been clear from the beginning of Trump's meteoric rise on the American political scene that he and his American First agenda were perceived by the beneficiaries of the globalist, neoliberal order as a mortal danger to the system which has enriched them. Maintaining and intensifying hostility toward Russia, even at the risk of a catastrophic, uncontainable conflict, lies at the center of their efforts . This political war to save globalism at all hazards is intensifying.

It would be a mistake, however, to understand hostility to Russia as just a cold calculation of pecuniary and social advantage by a corrupt mandarin class. It is all that of course, but it is also deeply ideological, reflecting the agenda of the entrenched pseudo-elites to dismantle the traditional national identities and Christian moral values of the West – and impose their godless agenda on the East as well .

But there is something else too, something that touches the emotional heart of both Russophobia in a global context and anti-Trumpism domestically. That is the accusation of racism .

Unsurprisingly one of the first to give voice to this concept was Hillary Clinton, who in her August 2016 "tinfoil hat speech" sought to portray Trump as a creature of the "Alt-Right " because, among other things, he once complimented Infowars ' Alex Jones: "Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down." But in Hillary's estimation, who is "the grand godfather" of the worldwide Alt-Right? You guessed it: "Russian President Vladimir Putin." A month later she doubled down in her infamous " basket of deplorables " speech, branding Trump's tens of millions of supporters "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it." (In an evident oversight, she omitted mention of Putin.)

Give the warmongering old girl credit for her doggedness. Hillary has stuck to this theme even as she sinks into irrelevance (while still reportedly harboring ambitions of a 2020 presidential run !), in June 2018 calling Putin the leader of the worldwide "authoritarian, white-supremacist, and xenophobic movement" who is "emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists, and even neo-Nazis."

Hillary is not alone. As summed up by Jodi Jacobson of Rewire.News (" Putin, Trump, and Kavanaugh: A Triad of White Supremacy and Oligarchy "):

'Putin is a dictator. His interests are in amassing wealth and power at any cost, both in Russia and globally. He is an ethnic nationalist , a white supremacist , and an Islamophobe . He aligns himself with radical right-wing religious and political groups to marginalize and attack the rights of women, LGBTQ communities, and religious and ethnic groups outside his power base.'

But perhaps the most revealing description comes from putative comedian Bill Maher on a recent episode of his HBO program, explaining that "Race Explains Shift From Party Of Reagan To Party Of Putin" and excoriating not just Putin but Russians as such for their genetic characteristics:

[Dec 22, 2019] Did you originally come over to pick strawberries?

Dec 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

tucenz , Dec 22 2019 12:28 utc | 59

"The second is the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip; an unpleasant, misogynistic, racist 98 year old man who has led a life of privilege and leisure by poncing off British tax payers and who has given the world nothing (except fathering yet another generation of inbred, royal parasites) and achieved absolutely nothing of any import whatsoever despite being given every advantage life can offer. Now, Prince Philip fell sick yesterday and was rushed from the royal estate of Sandringham (in Scotland) by helicopter"

Sandringham isn't in Scotland. Phil allegedly didn't father Andrew and Edward. And he has given the world some outrageously offensive comments over his many years. A small example - about 6 years ago a relation of mine witnessed him ask a Polish scientist at a research laboratory he was opening - "Did you originally come over to pick strawberries?" hehhehheh..

[Dec 22, 2019] Autopsy of the Minsk agreements

Notable quotes:
"... Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"? ..."
"... I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic. ..."
"... What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing? ..."
"... I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

The recent Paris summit and the few days following the summit have brought a lot of clarity about the future of the Minsk Agreements. Short version: Kiev has officially rejected them (by rejecting both the sequence of steps and several crucial steps). For those interested, let's look a little further.

First, what just happened

First, here are the key excerpts from the Paris Conference and from statements made by "Ze" and his superior, Arsen Avakov right after their return to Kiev:

Paris Conference statement: source

The Minsk agreements (Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 and the Minsk Package of Measures of 12 February 2015) continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation ( ) The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 – in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis .They consider it necessary to incorporate the "Steinmeier formula" into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the N4 and the Trilateral Contact Group.

President 'Ze' statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation) source

" The most difficult question is the question of the transfer of the border control to Ukraine. It's very funny, because its our border and the transfer of the control to us. But, it's a weak sport, the Achilles' heel of the Minsk Agreement." "It's what was signed by us, unfortunately. We can discuss this for a very long time. Possibly, the conditions were as such." "But we signed that we will get the control over our border only after the elections on the temporarily occupied territories." "We dedicated a very long time to this question, we discussed it in details, we have a very different positions with the president of Russia ." "But this is the Minsk position, we have to understand this. I only like one thing, that we started talking about this. We agreed that we will continue talking about this in details and with the different variations during our next meeting." "This is also a victory, because we will have a meeting in four months."

Q. What do you think, is it possible to change the Minsk Agreement? source

" This will be very difficult to do, but we have to do it. We have to change it . First, we have to understand that it's been over four years since the Minsk Agreement was signed. Everything changes in our life. We have to understand that it wasn't my team that signed the Minsk Agreement, but we as a power have to fulfill the conditions that our power at the time agreed back then. But? I am sure that some things we will be able to change. We will be changing them." "Because the transfer of the Ukraine's border after our control only after the elections, – it's not our position. I said about this don't know how many times, but this is the final decision ."

Arsen Avakov's statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation):

" The philosophy of the border control the part of the border that we don't have control over is 408 kilometers. It's not that easy to take it over, to equip it, even to get there across the enemy territories. It's a procedure. As a compromise, we offered the following scheme: we will start taking the border under our control stating with the New Year, little by little, reducing the length of the border that is not controlled by us, and a day before the local election we will close the border, we will close this bottleneck. And this way will get the control over the border. Why isn't this a good compromise? Considering, that at the same time according to the Steinmeier Formula, they have to disarm all the illegal armed formations of this pseudo-state DNR. This is how we see the compromise."

In other words, both the official President and real President of the Ukraine agree: the Ukraine will not implement the Minsk Agreements as written, made law by the UNSC and clarified by the so-called Steinmeier Formula.

Ukrainian propagandists on Russian TV (yes, Urkonazi and hardline nationalist propagandists do get air time on Russian TV on a daily basis – for an explanation why, see here and here ) went into damage control mode and explained it all away by saying " these are only words, what matters is what Zelenskii signed in Paris ". They are wrong. First of all, statements made in their official capacity by the President or the Minister of Internal Affairs do represent OFFICIAL policy statements. Second, this explanation completely overlooks the reason why Ze and Avakov said these things. That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Urkonazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0.

So in the behind-the-scenes (but very real) struggle between the Zionist camp (Kolomoiskii and Zelenskii) and the Urkonazi camp (Avakov and Poroshenko), the latter have successfully taken control of the former and now the chances for saving a unitary Ukraine are down to, maybe not quite zero, but to something like 0.0000001% (I leave that one under the heading "never say never" and because I have been wrong in the past).

So what happens next?

That is the interesting question. In theory, the Normandy Four will meet again in 4 months. But that assumes that some progress was made. Well, it is possible that in a few sections of the line of contact there will be an OSCE supervised withdrawal of forces. But, let's be honest here, the people have seen many, many such promised withdrawals, and they all turned out to be fake. Either the Ukronazis return to the neutral zone (claiming huge victories over the (sic) "Russian armed force"), or they resume bombing civilians, or they never even bother to change position. Any withdrawal is a good thing if it can save a single life! But no amount of withdrawals will settle anything in this conflict.

Second, there are A LOT of Ukrainian politicians who now say that the citizens of the LDNR have to "return" to Russia if they don't like the Urkonazi coup or its ideology. They either don't realize, or don't care, that there are very few Russian volunteers in Novorussia and that the vast majority of the men and women who compose the LDNR forces are locals. These locals, by the way, get the Ukie message loud and clear: you better get away while you can, because when we show up you will all be prosecuted for terrorism and aiding terrorists, that is ALSO something the Urkonazis like to repeat day after day. By the way, while in Banderastan all Russian TV channels are censored, and while they also try to censor the Russian language Internet, in Novorussia all the Ukrainian (and Russian) TV stations are freely available. So as soon as some Nazi freak comes out and says something crazy like "we will create filtration camps" (aka concentration camps) this news is instantly repeated all over Novorussia, which only strengthens the resolve of the people of the LDNR to fight to their death rather than accept a Nazi occupation..

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested. Whatever the case may be, it's now over, we are back to square one.

The most likely scenario is a "slow freezing" of the conflict meaning now that Kiev has officially and overtly rejected the Minsk Agreements, there will be some minor, pretend-negotiations, maybe, but that fundamentally the conflict will be frozen.

That will be the last nail in the coffin of the pro-EU, pro-NATO so-called "Independent Ukraine", since the most important condition to try to salvage the Ukrainian economy, namely peace, is now gone. Furthermore, the political climate in the Ukraine will further deteriorate (the hated Nazi minority + an even worse economic crisis are a perfect recipe for disaster).

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement. That means that the LDNR will separate from the rump-Ukraine and, on time, rejoin Russia. Good bye Banderites and Urkonazis!

The rump-Ukraine will eventually break-up further: Crimea truly was the "jewel of the Black Sea" and its future appears to be extremely bright while the Donbass was the biggest source of raw materials, energy, industry, high-tech, etc. etc. etc.). What is left of the Ukraine is either poor and under-developed (the West) or needs to reopen economic ties with Russia (the South).

Besides, Zelenskii and his party are now trying to rush a new law through the Rada which will allow the sale of Ukrainian land to private interests (aka foreign interests + a local frontman). As a result, there is now a new "maidan" brewing, pitting Iulia Timoshenko and other nationalist leaders against Zelenskii and his party. This could become a major crisis very fast, especially now that is appears that Zelenskii will also renege on this promise to call for a national referendum on the issue of the sale/privatization of land .

As for the Russians, they already realize that Ze is a joke, unsurprisingly so since he is a comic by trade, and that the Ukrainians are "not agreement capable". They will treat him like they did Poroshenko in the last years: completely ignore him and not even take his telephone calls. Right now, there is just a tiny bit of good will left in Moscow, but it is drying up so fast that it will soon totally disappear. Besides, the Russians really don't care that much anymore: the sanctions turned out to be a blessing, time is on Russia's side, the Ukronazis are destroying their own state and, finally, the important stuff for Russia is happening in Asia, not the West.

The Europeans will take a long time to come to terms with two simple facts:

Russia was never a party to this conflict (if she had, it would have been over long ago). The Ukronazis are the ones who won't implement the Minsk Agreements

This means that the politicians who were behind the EU's backing of the Euromaidan (Merkel) will have to go before their successors can say that, oops, we got our colors confused, and white is actually black and black turned out to be white. That's okay, politicians are pretty good at that. The honeymoon between Kiev and Warsaw on the one hand and Berlin on the other will soon end as bad times are ahead.

Macron looks much better, and he will probably pursue his efforts to restore semi-normal relations with Russia, for France's sake first, but also eventually the rest of the EU. The Poles and the Balts will accuse him of "treason" and he will just ignore them.

As for Trump, he will most likely make small steps towards Russia, but most of his energy will be directed either inwards (impeachment) or outwards (Israel), but not towards the Ukrainian conflict. Good.

Conclusion

It's over. Crimea and the Donbass are gone forever, the first is de jure , the latter merely de facto . The rump-Ukraine is completely unconformable (barring some kind of coup followed by a government of national unity supported Moscow – I consider this hypothesis as highly unlikely).

If you live in the West, don't expect your national media to report on any of this. They will be the LAST ones to actually admit it (journos have a longer shelf life than politicians, it is harder for them to make a 180).

PS: to get a feeling for the kind of silly stunts the "Ze team" is now busying itself with, just check this one: they actually tried to falsify the Ukrainian version of the Paris Communique. For details, see Scott's report here: https://thesaker.is/kiev-attempted-to-change-the-letter-and-meaning-of-paris-summit-communique/ . If the Ukraine was a Kindergarten, then "Ze" would be a perfect classroom teacher or visiting entertainer. But for a country fighting for its survival, such stunts are a very, very bad sign indeed!

(*rump-Ukraine: In broad terms, a "rump" state is what remains of a state when a portion is carved away. Expanding on the "butcher" metaphor, the rump is what is left when the higher-value cuts such as rib roast and loin have been removed.)


Oscar Peterson , says: December 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested.

Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"?

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement.

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here -- that they are better off simply cutting bait on the east and letting Russia deal with the headache of the Donbass's antiquated infrastructure? And that a truncated Ukraine would at least be mostly free of internal pro-Russian sentiment?

I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic.

bob sykes , says: December 18, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing?
Felix Keverich , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here

I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine.

Anonymous [176] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:21 am GMT
"Russia collapses from Western sanctions" If that is the plan, then Russia has already won. And, of course, she has.
vot tak , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
"That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Ukronazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0."

This is interesting. It implies z actually meant what he said in order to gain votes to get elected. In fact, he is very similar to trump in this respect. Lied about desiring an end to the conflict (conflicts in the case of trump), but once in office continued the aggressive policies (and expanded them in the case of trump). Actually, if one considers poroshenko as the ukraine version of obama/clinton and zelinsky as trump, it looks like the ukrainian regime is following in the footsteps of the american regime.

Tsar Nicholas , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:09 pm GMT
It's not just Minsk that has been abandoned by the Kiev junta. Kiev itself has been abandoned by the EU, which now looks to Nordstream-2 for its energy supplies from Russia, thus bypassing the thieves in Ukraine. Even sanctions from the Supreme Sanctioner in DC is not going to persuade the Germans to shiver in the winter.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Notable quotes:
"... The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Stormcrow , December 21, 2019 at 11:54 am

The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books

Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Carolinian , December 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Speaking of that.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/20/gladio-the-story-of-a-conspiracy/

Acacia , December 22, 2019 at 12:15 am

No surprise. NYRB has had a b*ner for Muh Russia since the early days of the hysteria.

[Dec 22, 2019] We Live In Hysteric Times What Trump's Impeachment Really Means by James George Jatras

Uneven, but pretty biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... It is noteworthy that not a single House Republican dared or even cared to question Schiff's framing of the issue, which was bolstered by witnesses from the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic establishment, including Trump's appointees. ..."
"... Nor is any Republican Senator likely to point out the inconvenient truth that we have no defense treaty with Ukraine, which thus is not really our "ally." ..."
"... The sole retort from Trump's establishment defenders : He released the aid to Ukraine, including the Javelin missiles Obama denied them! He's every bit the warmonger you want him to be! So there! ..."
"... Senate Demaggotic Leader Chuck Schumer gave the game away when he demanded that the World Greatest Deliberative Body receive testimony from cashiered National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney but not from the man at the center of the whole Ukraine "drug deal" (as Bolton described it): Rudy Giuliani. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

"America is a corpse being consumed by maggots. Liberals are rooting for the maggots. Conservatives are rooting for the corpse."

- @Vendee_Rising

For a century and a half American political life has been the exclusive preserve of the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans, also known as the Evil Party and the Stupid Party . (If something is both Evil and Stupid, we call that "Bipartisan.") But the familiar Evil-Stupid dichotomy doesn't even begin to describe the descent into national dysfunction and galloping irrationality that characterizes the Trump impeachment hysteria.

Media chatter now centers on the nuts-and-bolts questions of "what's next?" Will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate? (Yes. Even one of the legal "scholars" enrolled in the impeachment lynch mob avers that Trump isn't actually impeached until the Senate receives the articles .) Who will be the trial managers? (Who cares.) Will there be a "real trial," with witnesses? (It hardly matters.) Will Trump be removed? (Unlikely unless some bolt from the blue flips 20 GOP Senators.) Will impeachment be the Democrats' albatross going into November 2020? (Most polls show independents are turned off, but there's still almost a year to go.)

None of these questions, which are meaningful only in a mental universe of the Evils and the Stupids shadowboxing over a partisan allocation of political spoils, touch upon the grim – and occasionally sardonic – symptoms of America's seemingly unstoppable terminal slide.

With Trump's impeachment it's time to say goodbye to yesteryear's Team Evil and Team Stupid. Say hello in 2020 to Team Maggot and Team Corpse!

Even though Trump has not turned out to be the transformative and restorative president that many of his supporters might have hoped for, he certainly will be (assuming he survives impeachment, which he probably will) the lesser of evils in November 2020 compared to whoever ends up as the Maggot Party nominee. Worse from his opponents' point of view, he remains a toxic avatar of the old America they thought would be well and truly laid to rest for ever and ever, amen, when Hillary Clinton came into her kingdom. That having misfired in 2016, partisans of that legacy America's marginalization, displacement, and eventual extinction can't breathe easy while Trump remains in office lest he, however unlikely in view of his failures of performance, serve as a catalyst for revival of the historic American nation facing loss of its birthright : an organic, uncontrived, living ethnos characterized by European, mainly British origin (a/k/a, "white"); Christian, mainly Protestant; and English-speaking, as augmented by members of other groups who have totally or partially assimilated to it. The certified victim classes standing on the threshold of the permanent, total power that eluded them three years ago are haunted by the knowledge that there's still lots of them Muricans in red MAGA hats rallying to Trump out there in Flyover Country .

In short, Democrats hate Trump not so much for what he's done (which, contrary to what his passionate supporters think based on his Tweets, isn't much) but as an expression of an amorphous dread that by some mysterious populist alchemy he might still breathe life back into the Corpse Party's deplorable base.

With that in mind, here are a few things to note as we cruise on into Bizarro World :

" What do you mean 'we,' white man? "

As the impeachment spectacle unfolded in the House, one could not fail to be touched by the hushed, heartfelt reverence with which Democrat after Democrat cited the sage words of the Founding Fathers: Madison especially, but also Jefferson and Washington. No doubt they can hardly wait for this spectacle to be over so they can go back to denouncing the Founders as dead, racist, Christian, patriarchal, " Anglo ," and (presumably) heterosexual slaveholders in wigs and knee-breeches whose memory should be expunged from the historical record . It's instructive to glance at the members of the House Judiciary Committee who – solemnly, reluctantly, and prayerfully, they assure us! – voted out articles of impeachment in the name of "the American people." But which "people" might that be? Of the 23 Democrats who voted, only four even arguably fit the heritage American, male profile of the Founding Fathers. The " gender balance " (as it's ungrammatically called nowadays) on the voting majority side of the Committee is 12-11. That's not quite up to Barack Obama's exhortation that "every nation on earth" should be "run by women ," but it's progress in that direction! (Just imagine how much more serene the world would be if all countries were ruled by peaceniks like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condi Rice, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Michèle Flournoy, Evelyn Farkas, etc., plus a bevy of Deep State Democrats now installed in Congress .) By contrast, the 17 Republicans on the Committee have approximately the same demographic composition they'd have had in 1950 – and aside from the inclusion of two women, that of the First Congress seated in 1789.

In short, in the Congressional Maggot Caucus the approaching Dictatorship of Victims defined by race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, religion, migratory status, etc., is already becoming a reality, and they voted to get rid of Trump. Members of the Corpse Caucus defending him still belong demographically and morally to the declining legacy America, though they'd never, ever admit it. Impeachment is thus more than just the latest iteration of the years-long anti-constitutional coup to overturn a presidential election, though it is that too . Even more fundamentally, it's a coup against the people whose identity, traditions, and values the Constitution was intended to ensure for themselves and their posterity.

Foreign interference in our deMOCKracy.

Even more absurd than Democrats' presumption in lip-synching the venerable principles of an American constitutional tradition they despise almost as much as they loathe the ethnos that ordained and established it is their feigned horror – horror! – that Trump's phone chat with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky realized the Founders' worst fears of foreign influence over American domestic politics. Leaving aside the fact that Ukraine under Zelensky's predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, did try to queer the 2016 election in favor of Hillary, and that Hunter and Joe Biden are crooks, the Maggoteers' ability to maintain a straight face of shocked indignation smack in the middle of a souk, a flea market, a bazaar where both domestic and foreign interests buy, sell, and trade favors like vintage baseball cards is nothing less than heroic.

While the bipartisan leadership has not yet taken up the helpful suggestion that barcodes be affixed to legislators' foreheads so that interested persons and organizations can conveniently scan prices and self-checkout , they have provided a helpful guide to what are called " Congressional Member Organizations (CMOs )," also called coalitions, study groups, task forces, or working groups. Memberships in many but not all CMOs serve as virtual barcodes for potential (mostly legal) campaign donors, including, in the case of "friends of" this or that foreign country, contributions from ethnic compatriots who are US citizens, or at least are supposed to be. Here's a partial selection:

Argentina Caucus, Armenian Issues Caucus, Azerbaijan Caucus, Bangladesh Caucus, Bosnia Caucus, Brazil Caucus, Cambodia Caucus, Central America Caucus, Colombia Caucus, Congressional Caucus on Bulgaria, Croatian Caucus, Czech Caucus, Ethiopian-American Caucus, Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka, EU Caucus, Friends of Australia Caucus, Friends of Denmark Caucus, Friends of Egypt Caucus, Friends of Finland Caucus, Friends of Ireland Caucus, Friends of Liechtenstein Caucus, Friends of New Zealand Caucus, Friends of Norway Caucus, Friends of Scotland Caucus, Friends of Spain Caucus, Friends of Sweden Caucus, Friends of the Dominican Republic Caucus, Friends of Wales Caucus, Georgia Caucus, Hellenic Caucus, Hellenic Israel Alliance Caucus, House Baltic Caucus, Hungarian Caucus, India and Indian Americans Caucus, Iraq Caucus, Israel Allies Caucus, Israel Victory Caucus, Kingdom of Netherlands Caucus, Korea Caucus, Kyrgyzstan Caucus, Macedonia and Macedonian-American Caucus, Moldova Caucus, Mongolia Caucus, Montenegro Caucus, Morocco Caucus, Nigeria Caucus, Pakistan Caucus, Peru Caucus, Poland Caucus, Portuguese Caucus, Qatari-American Strategic Relationships Caucus, Republican Israel Caucus, Romania Caucus, Serbian Caucus, Slovak Caucus, Sri Lanka Caucus, Taiwan Caucus, UK Caucus, Ukraine Caucus, U.S.-Bermuda Friendship Caucus, U.S.-China Working Group, U.S.-Japan Caucus, U.S.-Kazakhstan Caucus, U.S.-Lebanon Friendship Caucus, U.S.-Philippines Friendship Caucus, U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish American, Uzbekistan Caucus, Venezuela Democracy Caucus

Recalling Your Working Boy 's years at the State Department – where there still exists no "American Interests Section" – the reader can search the above in vain for anything that looks remotely like "Friends of the United States of America."

Russia! Russia! Russia!

In fact, the Democrats' core impeachment narrative – Russia bad, Ukraine good – is itself an example to which American policy is in the grip of foreign antipathies and attachments against which the Father of Our Country warned us in his 1796 farewell address :

"[N]othing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

In his closing statement before the impeachment vote House Judiciary Chairmaggot Adam "Captain Ahab" Schiff , in his frenzied hunt for the Great Orange Whale , provided a textbook example of what Washington feared:

"[W]e should care about our allies. We should care about Ukraine. We should care about a country struggling to be free and a Democracy. We used to care about Democracy. We used to care about our allies. We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. We used to. I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to. 'Why should we care about Ukraine?' But of course it's about more than Ukraine. It's about us. It's about our national security. Their fight is our fight. Their defense is our defense. When Russia remakes the map of Europe for the first time since World War II by dint of military force [ JGJ : Well, there was Kosovo, but never mind ] and Ukraine fights back, it is our fight too."

Indeed, one wonders how hysterical Democrats missed accusing Trump outright of treason , which actually is specified as grounds for impeachment in Article II, Section 4 . After all, as described by Schiff, didn't Trump's actions constitute (under Article III, Section 3 ) "adhering" to our evil enemies the Russians, and "giving them aid and comfort"? It's an open and shut case of a capital crime – and the House Majority Whip is ready to get the rope ! (Really, how did the Democrats miss this? Maybe GOP stupidity has migrated to the other side of the aisle )

It is noteworthy that not a single House Republican dared or even cared to question Schiff's framing of the issue, which was bolstered by witnesses from the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic establishment, including Trump's appointees.

Nor is any Republican Senator likely to point out the inconvenient truth that we have no defense treaty with Ukraine, which thus is not really our "ally." Partisanship is the variable; Russophobia is the constant. The sole retort from Trump's establishment defenders : He released the aid to Ukraine, including the Javelin missiles Obama denied them! He's every bit the warmonger you want him to be! So there!

Thus, even with Trump's almost (at this point) certain survival of a Senate impeachment trial, the relevant foreign inveterate antipathies and passionate attachments will remain entrenched. (Not just in the case of Ukraine/Russia but with respect to the rest of the world our habitual hatreds and fondnesses remain firmly in place and are unlikely to change for the balance of Trump's presidency, if ever. Trump's Korea initiative is on life support. Israel/Iran is a flashpoint that could explode at any time : "Israel, even less than the US, cannot take casualties. A couple of bull's eyes, a lot of Israelis go back to Brooklyn. The 82 million people in Iran have no place else to go.")

Senate Demaggotic Leader Chuck Schumer gave the game away when he demanded that the World Greatest Deliberative Body receive testimony from cashiered National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney but not from the man at the center of the whole Ukraine "drug deal" (as Bolton described it): Rudy Giuliani. Why wouldn't the assembled Maggotrats jump at the chance to grill him under oath? Because he'd dole out the real dirt on Ukraine and its legendary corruption that would make a Nigerian prince blush. For the same reason, Corpsublicans won't want to hear from him either, any more than they're interested in whether the "sub-sources" of the Steele Dossier – whose identity the US Justice Department knows and who were available to the IG's investigators – really had anything to do with the Russian government . We wouldn't want to debunk all that yammering about " fake Kremlin dirt ," would we.

Meanwhile, back in what remains of America, regardless of how impeachment turns out, the lines of irreconcilable division deepen . Whether or not Trump is reelected (the politics look good for him, the demographics don't ) he will eventually be gone, whether in 2020, 2021, or 2025. He will almost certainly be the last Republican president, depending on when Texas goes the way of Virginia . One way or the other, we'll soon see whether the corpse has any fight left in it .

[Dec 22, 2019] Modern hysteria, aka TDS, is used by the mentally challenged to hide their self-perceived stupidity

Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Reaper , 1 hour ago link

I hate, therefore I am intelligent.

Modern hysteria, aka TDS, is used by the mentally challenged to hide their self-perceived stupidity.

nyuszika45b , 1 hour ago link

Further depth on all these subjects can be realised by perusing the collected sayings of P.T. Barnum... he created the meme for the modern media perversion of reality in accordance with their Usury Empire masters' wishes.

[Dec 22, 2019] No Facts, No Truth. What's left? hysteria.

Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

GovWaste , 1 hour ago link

No Facts, No Truth. What's left? hysteria.

[Dec 21, 2019] How Jeff Bezos Became Santa

Through its hugely successful predatory pricing scheme, Amazon has transformed every aspect of the gift-giving experience.
Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

recently there's been a new salesman coming door-to-door with holiday shopping offers. Stooped low under the burden of unpaid taxes and smirking as he ports a briefcase jammed with cheap Chinese-made gadgets, the mysterious bald fellow seems to already know what you want and offers amazing discounts. A dutiful drone buzzes alongside him, ready to dispense fresh new items at its master's command.

[Dec 21, 2019] 5 Most Hyperbolic Impeachment Moments

Both parties are afraid to talk about the real issues facing the nation, converting impeachment into Kabuki theater drama.
I think the litmus test has to be whether you would defend a democratic president for the same charges. Would you defend Obama if he would being impeached for the same thing?
Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Jesus Got a Fairer Trial

Rep. Barry Loudermilk was so incensed by the Democrats' impeachment proceedings that he made a favorable reference to Pontius Pilate.

"When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers," Loudermilk said on the floor. "During that sham trial, Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afforded this president and this process."

Is Trump facing crucifixion if he's impeached? No; but don't let that get in the way of the overwrought rhetoric. According to House Republicans, Jesus got a fairer trial than Trump.

Rep. Loudermilk: "When Jesus was falsely accused of treason, Pontius Pilate gave Jesus the opportunity to face his accusers." pic.twitter.com/HqlRYFMIaN

-- Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 18, 2019

[Dec 21, 2019] Russia's Sovereign Internet Test

Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Leguran , 9 minutes ago link

And, the USA? I keep getting phone calls from god knows where masquerading as local calls. And our $100 billion per year intelligence services can do nothing to protect Americans from something as simple as unwanted phone calls. We know every single intelligence service will use cyber warfare and we have no way to stop it despite colossal expenditures on war munitions.

[Dec 21, 2019] In Hong Kong they ALL have to stop working and storm the police and government and eat the commies on live tv

Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

dark pools of soros , 4 hours ago link

They ALL have to stop working and storm the police and government and eat the commies on live tv

itstippy , 3 hours ago link

Well at least you present concrete, actionable advice. Cannibalism on live TV would definately scare the dumps out of the Chicoms.

[Dec 21, 2019] To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin there are going to be three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and the impeachment of a US President when the House is held by a different party

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

KedarB , 19 Dec 2019 08:42

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin there are going to be three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and the impeachment of a US President when the House is held by a different party. American politics is going to get a whole lot nastier now than what it has been.

This Punch and Judy show has achieved nothing. The House impeached him and the Senate won't convict him. Trump now will be playing the victim card. Come November the key thing that will matter is the economy. If it as successful as it is now then he will get a second term. If it is in a recession then advantage Democratic candidate.

[Dec 21, 2019] 2019 - The Year Of Manufactured Hysteria Zero Hedge

Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins via OffGuardian.org,

Well, it looks like we've somehow managed to survive another year of diabolical Putin-Nazi attacks on democracy.

It was touch-and-go there for a while, especially coming down the home stretch, what with Jeremy Corbyn's desperate attempt to overthrow the UK government, construct a British version of Auschwitz , and start rounding up and mass-murdering the Jews.

That was certainly pretty scary... but then, the whole year was pretty scary.

The horror began promptly in early January, when Rachel Maddow revealed that Putin was projecting words out of Trump's mouth in real-time , i.e., literally using Trump's head like a puppet, or one of those Mission Impossible masks. And that was just the tip of the iceberg, as, despite the best efforts of Integrity Initiative , Bellingcat , and other such establishment psyops , Internet-censoring sites like NewsGuard , and an army of mass hysteria generators , Putin's legion of Russian "influencers" was continuing to maliciously influence Americans, who were probably also still under attack by brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets !

While Resistance members were still wrapping their heads in anti-cricket aluminum foil, Putin (i.e., Russian Hitler) ordered Trump (i.e., Russian-asset Hitler) to launch a coup in Venezuela (i.e., Russian Hitler's South American ally), probably to distract us from " Smirkboy Hitler " and his acne-faced gang of MAGA cap-wearing Catholic high-school Hitler Youth, who were trying to invade and Hitlerize the capital. Or maybe the coup was meant to distract us from the un-American activities of Bernie Sanders, who had also been deemed a Russian asset, or a devious " Kremlin-Trump operation ," or was working with Tulsi Gabbard to build an army of blood-drinking Hindu nationalists, genocidal Assadists, and American fascists to help the Iranians (and the Russians, of course, and presumably also Jeremy Corbyn) frontally assault the State of Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

As if all that wasn't horrifying enough (and ridiculous and confusing enough), by early Spring there was mounting evidence that Putin had somehow gotten to Mueller, possibly with one of those FSB pee-tapes, and was sabotaging the "Russiagate" coup the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, the corporate media, and the rest of the Resistance had been methodically preparing since 2016. Liberals' anuses began puckering and unpuckering as it gradually became clear that the "Mueller Report" was not going to prove that Donald Trump had colluded with Putin and Julian Assange to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton and transform the United States of America into a genocidal Putin-Nazi Reich.

Meanwhile, the anti-Semitism pandemic that had mysteriously erupted in 2016 (i.e., right around the time Trump won the nomination) was raging unchecked throughout the West. Jews in Great Britain were on the brink of panic because approximately 0.08 percent of Labour Party members were anti-Semitic , as opposed to the rest of the British public, who have never shown any signs of anti-Semitism (or any other kind of racism or bigotry), and are practically a nation of Shabbos goys. Clearly, Corbyn had turned the party into his personal neo-Nazi death cult and was planning to carry out a second Holocaust just as soon as he renationalized the British railways!

And it wasn't just the United Kingdom. According to corporate media virologists, idiopathic anti-Semitism was breaking out everywhere. In France, the "Yellow Vests" were also anti-Semites . In the U.S.A., Jews were facing " a perfect storm of anti-Semitism ," some of it stemming from the neo-fascist fringe (which has been a part of the American landscape forever, but which the corporate media has elevated into an international Nazi movement), but much of it whipped up by Ilhan Omar, who had apparently entered into a "Red-Brown" pact with Richard Spencer, or Gavin McInnes, or some other formerly insignificant idiot.

Things got very confusing for a while, as Republicans united with Democrats to denounce Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite (and possibly a full-fledged Islamic terrorist) and to condemn the existence of "hate," or whatever. The corporate media, Facebook, and Twitter were suddenly swarming with hordes of angry anti-Semites accusing other anti-Semites of anti-Semitism. Meghan McCain couldn't take it anymore, and she broke down on the Joy Behar Show and begged to be converted to Judaism, or Zionism, right there on the air. This unseemly display of anti-anti-Semitism was savagely skewered by Eli Valley , an "anti-Semitic" Jewish cartoonist, according to McCain and other morons.

Then it happened ... perhaps the loudest popcorn fart in political history. The Mueller Report was finally delivered. And just like that, Russiagate was over . After three long years of manufactured mass hysteria, corporate media propaganda, books, T-shirts, marches, etc., Robert Mueller had come up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. No collusion. No pee-tape. No secret servers. No Russian contacts. Nothing. Zilch.

Cognitive dissonance gripped the nation. There was beaucoup wailing and gnashing of teeth. Resistance members doubled their anti-depressant dosages and went into mourning. Shell-shocked liberals did their best to pretend they hadn't been duped, again, by authoritative sources like The Washington Post , The New York Times , The Guardian , CNN, MSNBC, et al., which had disseminated completely fabricated stories about secret meetings which never took place , power grid hackings that never happened , Russian servers that never existed , imaginary Russian propaganda peddlers , and the list goes on , and on, and on and hadn't otherwise behaved like a bunch of mindless, shrieking neo-McCarthyites.

Except that Russiagate wasn't over. It immediately morphed into " Obstructiongate ." As the corporate media spooks explained, Mueller's investigation of Trump was never about collusion with Russia. No, it was always about Trump obstructing the investigation of the collusion with Russia that the investigation was not about, and that everyone knew had never happened . In other words, Mueller's investigation was launched in order to investigate the obstruction of his investigation.

Or whatever...

It didn't really matter, because, by this time, Assange had been arrested for treason, or for jumping bail, or for smearing poo all over the walls of the Ecuadorean embassy, and The New York Times was reporting that a veritable "constellation" of social media accounts "linked to Russia and far-right groups" was disseminating extremist "disinformation," and Putin had unleashed the Russian spywhale , and " Jews were not safe in Germany again ," because the Putin-Nazis had formed an alliance with the Iranian Nazis and the Syrian Nazis, who were backing the Palestinian Nazis that Antifa was fighting on behalf of Israel , and Jews were not safe in the UK either, because of Jeremy Corbyn, who Donald Trump (who, let's all remember, is literally Hitler) was conspiring with a group of "unnamed Jewish leaders" to prevent from becoming prime minister, and Iran was conspiring with Hezbollah and al Qaeda to amass an arsenal of WMDs to launch at Israel and Saudi Arabia, and other peaceful Middle Eastern democracies, and Trump was finally going to go full-Hitler and declare martial law on the Fourth of July, and he was operating literal "concentration camps" where immigrants were being forced to drink out of toilets , which looked almost exactly the same as the "detention facilities" Obama had operated , except for well, you know, the "fascism."

So who had time to worry about the corporate media colluding with an attempted Intelligence Community coup?

Then, in August, right on cue, some racist whack job murdered a bunch of people, and so now, as if the mass hysteria hadn't already been jacked up to the max, America had " a white nationalist terrorist problem ," or was in the throes of a " white nationalist terrorism crisis. " Trump was now officially our " Nihilist-in-Chief ," and " a white supremacist who inspires terrorism " and was basically no different than Anwar al-Awlaki . It was time to take some extraordinary measures along the lines of the Patriot Act, except focused on potential white supremacist terrorists, or anyone the Editorial Board of The New York Times might deem a "threat."

This sudden outbreak of " Trump-inspired terrorism " and the manufactured "fascism" hysteria that followed got the Resistance through end of the Summer and into the Autumn, which was always when the main event was scheduled to begin. See, these last three years have basically been a warm-up for what is about to happen the impeachment, sure, but that's only one part of it.

If you thought the global capitalist ruling classes and the corporate media's methodical crushing of Jeremy Corbyn was depressing to watch well, prepare yourself for 2020.

The Year of Manufactured Mass Hysteria was not just the Intelligence Community and the corporate media getting their kicks by whipping the public up into an endless series of baseless panics over imaginary Russians and Nazis. It was the final phase of cementing the official "Putin-Nazi" narrative in people's minds.

[Dec 21, 2019] American 'exceptionalism'? With such clowns like Pelosi and Schiff? Don't make me fucking laugh

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

goody5 , 19 Dec 2019 07:55

Reading the comments, my thought is:

"American 'exceptionalism'? Don't make me fucking laugh."

rottenboro , 19 Dec 2019 08:15
Look at this way, the Democratic Party had two terms in office, under Obama,in order to deliver a 'New Deal'. It turned out,they were selling Snake Oil, life got no easier for ordinary Americans, particularly those of colour.

So, the poor decided to give the Republicans a try, cutting out the middle men of the democratic party. Now,in order to get back into power, the neoliberal Left are breaking Trump's legs and the cycle will start all over again, with so much time and money that could have been used to help those who need it, going to the politicians and lawyers who run the charade.

The rich will get richer and the ears of the suckers who vote will bleed from listening to all the bullshit.

Justlyjohn -> cmouse , 19 Dec 2019 08:09
Well, calling out the democrats for these. Things is not really a problem rather the depressing truth. With clown shows like Nader and Schiff on display its not hard for voters to conclude that the Democratic Party has become haters, undemocratic, not believers in rules of evidence or due process, all foundations of American justice.

In other words anti-American. Turning their so called investigation into the Schiff show has confirmed what most Americans have come to understand, democrats are not fit to lead the country, and will not after this next November.

third_eye , 19 Dec 2019 07:49
When justice is muddied by the vengeance of politics there is little surety of integrity for the common citizen believe in. When fighting each other in the name of the people becomes an obsessive intent to hurt but not to serve, there is little foundation left for the common man to be believe in.

Whilst perfection was never sought nor expected of those who were chosen by the people to represent their hopes and wishes, the boundaries of common sense and commonwealth must never be breached. The war which rages on in Washington is one which represents little, if anything, of or for the people. In truth, regardless of Trump's fate, the theatre of narrow political dreams go on, in the name of the people.

LynchBlob , 19 Dec 2019 07:37
Since Trump stepped into office the Democrats were looking for something that would make him impeachable. The deep state delivered them Russiagate, the claim that Trump 'colluded' with the Russian government, by taking seriously an obvious fake dossier the Clinton campaign had ordered and paid for. FBI agents who hated Trump even faked FISA court certification submissions to be able to spy on the Trump campaign. They found nothing that supported the 'collusion' claims.

The FISA court is not amused about that:

"The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in an order published Tuesday.

The Dems would have been.better off just coming up with some better more appealing policies but here's the rub, they haven't and that's because they can't, their agenda is one of stay tje same, no change, keep the status quo, forever wars and printing money and just hope it all gos away. Instead of hope we've got horseshit.

BaronVonAmericano , 19 Dec 2019 07:19
This article is spot on. Impeachment probably persuaded only a tiny number of vacillating voters, sidelined Trump's worst crimes, and rallied his base. Meanwhile, as the author states, the public is no closer to knowing what the Dems stand for -- another downside in their election chances.
BertieBallcock -> Glitchd , 19 Dec 2019 07:19
There has never been a president in my lifetime at least that has been so put under the spotlight as Trump. Literally under investigation since the day he took office and yet the best they have is a highly disputed telephone conversation. Meanwhile Biden is there on video in all his glory boasting about using US aid to force behaviour that suited him.
Trump will be aquitted and the Democrats will suffer for their desperation.
axis45 -> ArturoRosales , 19 Dec 2019 07:19
you seem to be suffering from the delusion that actual policies and beliefs are being fought over by two opposing sides,its a pathetic sideshow between two almost identical parties with identical policies and the same paymasters,the outcome of this farce is utterly meaningless to the ordinary citizen.

[Dec 21, 2019] Is Putin losing his grip? Why did Russian disinformation operations fail so dramatically in the UK election?

Dec 21, 2019 | off-guardian.org

s Putin losing his grip? Why did Russian disinformation operations fail so dramatically in the UK election? Not only did the "rabid socialist" Corbyn fail to seize power from the Russophobic cold-war warriors of Whitehall but Russia's man in the White House is already planning to move in with them!

[Dec 21, 2019] Do you think this is leverage, to not send us something we'd rather not do?

Dec 21, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

And Ms. Pelosi believes that Mr. Trump is so eager for the public vindication of a Senate acquittal that he will put pressure on the majority leader to make it happen even if it means offering some concessions to Mr. Schumer.

For now, however, Mr. McConnell -- and many other Senate Republicans -- seem unmoved by the House posture. He spent much of Thursday gleefully ridiculing Democrats' negotiating tactics.

"Do you think this is leverage, to not send us something we'd rather not do?" he asked reporters this week as he cracked a broad smile outside the Senate chamber, in a departure from his usual dour expression.

[Dec 20, 2019] Wag the dog returns: If you have trobles at home just bomb another country

Notable quotes:
"... It will all be "Acting Presidential" like according to CNN's Freed Zakaria when Trump bombed Syria and who will be once again salivating, grinning, and wiggling around so much in his chair you think an orgasm is possibly happening. ..."
Dec 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
He can just gin up another invasion with another WMD ,'imminent mushroom cloud' flurry with stories in the New York Tool and CIA.po, who are dependable on that front, then get with the 'enhanced interrogations' (better known as torture) and then drone bomb brown people at a record setting pace (with a couple of Americans thrown in for good measure).

But all he will get is praise, although not like that article in the NY Tool where the discussion of Obama's 'Star Chamber' was all about how the deep decisions were made along with mostly unnamed, non-elected people, regarding who goes on the 'kill list', on "Terror Tuesday". All people that list need not be charged with any crime, along with everyone near them who are killed or wounded, and nowhere in the article will it mention these are 'war crimes'. "High Crimes" by definition, instead it will all be about the poor President's heavy decision making duties.

It will all be "Acting Presidential" like according to CNN's Freed Zakaria when Trump bombed Syria and who will be once again salivating, grinning, and wiggling around so much in his chair you think an orgasm is possibly happening.

Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi will rise in support of tRump, and people like Adam 'Raytheon' Shiff will be in his corner.

All will be well with corporate America...'Let the killing begin!'.

[Dec 20, 2019] A Plot To Make Pelosi President Now Adam Schiff Wants To Go After VP Mike Pence...

Dec 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

???ö? , 2 minutes ago link

Is Schiff a Muslim ... because this looks like martyrdom.

[Dec 20, 2019] It's Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future

Dec 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Nobody in 1963 would imagine that the USA of the 2000s would be the USA of finance, of Wall Street ; of football players, of the anti-vaxxers, of the flat earthers and of the Kardashians.

[Dec 20, 2019] Some people really believe that unbelievable crap Pelosi pushes about Ukrainegate

"The buildup of the Whistle Blower hoax is a repetition of the Spygate hoax in the pace, timing, inflating, media coordination, social media trolling"
Dec 20, 2019 | mythwatch.com

Well hell, there are still people who believe the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth. So why should we be surprised? Some people will believe anything.

[Dec 20, 2019] Intelligence community has become a self licking ice cream cone

Highly recommended!
Dec 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org

J_Garbo ,

I suspected that Deep State has at least two opposing factions. The Realistists want him to break up the empire, turn back into a republic; the Delusionals want to extend the empire, continue to exploit and destroy the world. If so, the contradictions, reversals, incoherence make sense. IMO as I said.

Gary Weglarz ,

I predict that all Western MSM will begin to accurately and vocally cover Mr. Binney's findings about this odious and treasonous U.S. government psyop at just about the exact time that -- "hell freezes over" -- as they say.

Jen ,

They don't need to, they have Tony Blair's fellow Brit psycho Boris Johnson to go on autopilot and blame the Russians the moment something happens and just before London Met start their investigations.

[Dec 20, 2019] Following Pelosi logic the President can just ignore the Senate trial. Nobody can't force him to show up, right?

Dec 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

So, if the President wanted to, he could be impeached by the house over and over again without that helping the Senate to find any illegal, and therefore convictable behavior for the President?

May be if the house impeach him three times and never send the impeachment articles to the Senate, the dear President would faint. May be then the doctors would finally decide that he is incapable of fulling his duties in the White House and declare him officially so sicko that he gets forced to stay in bed. /sad snark attempt.

[Dec 20, 2019] Sen. Mitch McConnell: first DemoRats argued that impeaching is urgent and now they allow to sit it in their hand for indefinite period

Actually a good speech. Worth listening.
Dec 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

metairieman55, 3 hours ago

For those of you who don't have time to watch the entire video, I offer the "Cliffs Notes" version of Senator McConnell's speech. It is as follows:

"Our duty in the Senate as parents of petulant adolescents in our House is to ignore their fantasies, send them from the table to stop their food fight and give them a long time out in their safe spaces (and maybe a permanent one!) since quite a few won't be returning to the table after Nov 2020."

I second that motion, Senator . . .

[Dec 20, 2019] The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc

Highly recommended!
Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT

The Year of Manufactured Hysteria

The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc.

The unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

[Dec 19, 2019] Impeachment is the Democrat version of the battle of Stalingrad.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Fiscal Reality , 7 minutes ago link

Impeachment is the Democrat version of the battle of Stalingrad. The Dem's are the Germans, walking into a trap, refusing to withdraw and regroup as their fanatic Fuhrer, Frau Nancy, claims Victory, only to be annihilated by her hubris.

[Dec 19, 2019] Putin, Putin, Putin under each bed

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The EveryThing Bubble , 57 minutes ago link

GOP: Government Of Putin.
RNC: Russian National Committee

Zero Schmeero , 54 minutes ago link

Like anyone believes the words of a lying *** that upvotes itself. Rev. 2:9 and 3:9, words from a real ***. That must just eat you alive khazar.

sticky_pickles , 54 minutes ago link

DNC. Democratic Nation of China

attah-boy-Luther , 2 minutes ago link

Led by Feinstein and her driver....

silverer , 1 hour ago link

Aha! PROOF! Putin runs the US Senate now! Hear all about it on the Rachel Maddow show.

[Dec 19, 2019] One property of vacuum is that you can't here what the other person is shouting

If this were to continue, Trump could become the first president to have been impeached several times during his term in office.
Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

travelerxxx on Thu, 12/19/2019 - 12:48am

Watch Mitch McConnell suck the air right out of the Democrats lungs in about one minute once this mess goes to the Senate. That's what I think will happen once the House sends this impeachment bill to the Senate.

"Those in favor of considering the impeachment bill say aye." Democrats screaming "aye!"
"Those opposed?" Republicans all mutter "No."
"The No's have it. The bill is dismissed."

D-U-N, done.

No drama, no 24/7 newz coverage, no witnesses, no circus. Just crickets. Democrats are seen wandering around the capitol like lost puppies looking for the television cameras, but the cameras have all gone home for the holidays.

Trump's approval numbers go up by 10 points.

[Dec 19, 2019] The axis of neolib and intelligence agencies want a coup from Santa. as a Christams present: Trump is a Russian agent, Tulsi a Russian plant, Facebook a Russian tool, Jill Stein a Russian something

Notable quotes:
"... Believing a phone call is bribery, or a tweet is witness intimidation, does not negate the need for the law degree that allows you to use those words accurately. This is about the law, not about writing marketing copy. And kids, I'm sorry, I know how much you wanted to believe in the elves, but it really was Mom and me buying the presents all those years. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The axis of neolib and intelligence agencies want a coup from Santa.

So even as the hive mind agrees that a flippant remark is "demanding foreign intervention" or "a national security threat," or that an investigation is "interference in our democracy," or with even less evidence that Trump is a Russian agent, Tulsi a Russian plant, Facebook a Russian tool, Jill Stein a Russian something or other, it does not make it true. Adding "-gate" to a noun does not create a crime.

Believing a phone call is bribery, or a tweet is witness intimidation, does not negate the need for the law degree that allows you to use those words accurately. This is about the law, not about writing marketing copy. And kids, I'm sorry, I know how much you wanted to believe in the elves, but it really was Mom and me buying the presents all those years.

[Dec 19, 2019] FICA court judge is shocked, SHOCKED the FBI lied to her.

Notable quotes:
"... Seems to me that judges at every level systematically encourage cops and prosecutors to lie to them. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 18 2019 21:30 utc | 8

The FISA court is not amused about that:

"The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in an order published Tuesday.

She's shocked, SHOCKED the FBI lied to her.

Seems to me that judges at every level systematically encourage cops and prosecutors to lie to them. And what kind of legal repercussions are these agents going to face for lying to the court? Same as any other "law enforcement" personnel caught lying.

[Dec 19, 2019] Democratic Party - Henceforth known as the Anti-Democracy Party

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 18 2019 21:10 utc | 1

Democratic Party - Henceforth known as the Anti-Democracy Party.

[Dec 19, 2019] Evolution from "news reporter" to "news creator" of one MSM outlet . The final stage of this evolution is called "fake news"

Dec 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Steve Ruis , December 18, 2019 at 9:01 am

This is why I have stopped watching MSNBC, which I used to watch five nights a week.

They have fallen into the NY Times trap of believing that they create the news instead of report on it.

[Dec 19, 2019] "Corney" indeed appears in the DOJ's official PDF more than 100 times

Looks like document was canned and ver proofread...
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
ptb , Dec 19 2019 1:57 utc | 58
@anne 32

Weird. "Corney" indeed appears in the DOJ's official PDF more than 100 times.

Autocorrect prank by loving employees?

[Dec 19, 2019] Back int he USSR Leaders of the Senate and the House reminds me of the Soviet Union in the last 2 decades of its existence. In those 2 decades the soviet leaders were all VERY old men. Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko all died in their 70s.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Willy2 , Dec 19 2019 9:11 utc | 89

- The one senator that decides whether or not Trump will be forced out of office / impeached is a Republican senator called Mitch McConnell from Kentucky. If McConnell wants Trump to go then Trump will be gone tomorrow.

- When I pulled up McConnell's bio on Wikipedia then I noticed that McConnell is already 77 years old. This reminds me of the Soviet Union in the last 2 decades of its existence. In those 2 decades the soviet leaders were all VERY old men. Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko all died in their 70s.

- Just look at the current leaders of the US. Bill & (K)Hillery Clinton, Trump, Biden, McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Bloomberg all are 70 years or older.

- Dianne Feinstein is even older than 80 years old. 86 years to be precise.

[Dec 18, 2019] I Can Hire Half the Working Class To Fight the Other Half

Dec 18, 2019 | quoteinvestigator.com

The truth of Jay Gould's assertion that he "could buy the vote of a farmer member of the legislature for the price of a bull calf, about seven dollars and a half," was clearly disproved at Topeka last January, where not a single People's party member of the Kansas House could be bought at any price.

It is my prayer to God that all farmers and other toilers will now unite in one solid phalanx, so that the other characteristic remark of the same gentleman, that he "could hire one-half the farmers to shoot the other half to death," shall also show him to have overestimated the power of his money, supplemented though it may be by Satanic cunning,

John Livingston,
President New York State Farmers' Alliance.
Campville, Tioga Co., N.Y., Oct 21, 1891.

[Dec 18, 2019] Following footsteps of President Zero Trump made amazing progress in nation building

Dec 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

turtle , says: December 17, 2019 at 2:57 am GMT

Just in time for "Xmas."
Oh, excuse me, "Winter Holiday."
Dweezil the Weasel , says: December 18, 2019 at 5:55 am GMT
I guess this means the Emperor will be sending the FBI to confiscate my DVD: The Passion of the Christ. Maybe Mel Gibson was on to something.

[Dec 18, 2019] Something about the limits of religious love

www.unz.com

[Dec 17, 2019] This time just before Christmas, Nancy Pelosi's elves have cooked up a pot o' impeachment soup. It is grossly oversalted.

Dec 17, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

The impending House vote is sending a thrill up the legs of Washington journalists, who hope the public won't go beyond their misleading headlines. Perhaps few will notice that the Constitution doesn't list "abuse of power" or "obstruction of Congress " as impeachable offenses.

[Dec 15, 2019] The Washington Post Opinion page: If you don't agree with us, you must be a Russian asset

Dec 15, 2019 | twitter.com

Nathan Brand ‏ 3:00 PM - 8 Dec 2019

The Washington Post Opinion page: If you don't agree with us, you must be a Russian asset

[Dec 15, 2019] The nature of one presidential candidate

Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

In the early 2000s, writer Michael Wolff reported on a privately compiled, limited-edition booklet called "The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg." Compiled as a gag gift from his staff, the 32-page text featured real-life Bloomberg quotations collected by former executive Elisabeth DeMarse and others who knew the mogul in the 1980s, before his run for mayor. Among its more prescient gems: "A good salesperson asks for the order. It's like the guy who goes into a bar, and walks up to every gorgeous girl there, and says 'Do you want to fuck?' He gets turned down a lot -- but he gets fucked a lot, too!"

[Dec 15, 2019] Any son or daughter of the US politician running in national election now is a solid insurance against criminal invesgigation of foriegn company, no matter wht th wrongdoing are. Hunter Biden has really bright future till 2021

Dec 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Fred -> srw... , 14 December 2019 at 07:38 PM

Srw,

So all other presidents who claimed privilege were actually obstructing Congress and were subject to impeachment as will be all future presidents who claim privilege. Burisma, a Ukrainian company, can not be investigated because a Biden is on the board. Hunter has a very lucrative future ahead of him as an insurance against investigation.

[Dec 15, 2019] Inverse selection in action

Dec 15, 2019 | off-guardian.org

nottheonly1 ,

What just happened was an inverted U.S. selection. In the U.S., a confused rich man got elected, because the alternative was a psychopathic war criminal. In the U.K. a confused upper class twat got elected, because the alternative was too good to be true.

Something like that?

[Dec 15, 2019] The draft of the letter to your Congresman/woman

As if they care about deplorables...
Dec 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

We have been good democrats all our lives. Voted for Clinton, and Obama twice. We all voted for you in the last election, but after watching this idiocy in the fake impeachment trial, and seeing the democrat party rapidly turning towards out right communism, which is actually anti-American, we will no longer vote for any democrats.

Our family is fed up and sick and tired of you taking the taxes we pay and seeing you do absolutely nothing for us, or our country. We quit! The undersigned do hereby declare that we no longer choose to vote for you and the witch hunting party, the criminal democrat party of which you belong. You are all alike. Liars and deceivers. No longer do we wish to be associated or looked on as accomplices in the democrat criminal communist party that does not care about the individual voter, their family, or the American People that voted for you.

We the American people that voted for you, are not you. You no longer represent We, the People. We do not want to be known as criminals, or those who associate with, and empower you reprobates. We no longer support the democrat party that wastes so much time and taxpayer money doing nothing good for us. Making up lies to impeach a president is not good. It's criminal!

The malfeasance of the democrat party, and out right lies and determination to focus only on impeaching the president for no good justifiable reason is filthy, a farce, and very embarrassing. We want no part of it anymore. All of you have become a bunch of despicable, colluding criminals. Corrupt to the core, and you only have one thing on your mind. It is not we, the voters. It is only the continued hateful idiocy of fake hearings, the impeachment hoax like the Russia hoax was, and big fat lies to drag out the clock so the real criminals that everybody knows are criminals get away with their crimes, corruptions, and their treasonous acts against America and the People of Conscious.

We therefore declare that we will be voting for any republican running against you, because you are an associate of the criminal democrats that are now communists. We and our families are not criminals, communist, nor will we ever again be associated with what you and they do. We now disavow the criminal democrat party of liars and deceivers that do nothing for we Americans. We disavow you, congressman/woman!

Signed,

A Former Democrat

[Dec 15, 2019] When Trump praised how he provided effective relieve to "our nukes [that] were tired" described them as "now in tip-top shape". This is a rather original way of talking about nuclear weapons, but absolutely expected from a salesman of a property with all visible defects repaired or painted over and untold horror of hidden defects.

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Dec 15 2019 21:50 utc | 12

It is said, yea, elected, but only because people are manipulated. Yet people are well aware that most of the transactions in which they are participating have a degree of manipulation. For example, when Trump praised how he provided effective relieve to "our nukes [that] were tired" described them as "now in tip-top shape". This is a rather original way of talking about nuclear weapons, but absolutely expected from a salesman of a property with all visible defects repaired or painted over and untold horror of hidden defects. If people do not pay attention or tolerate it, it is not because of being deprived of access to relevant information. EVERYONE can read MoonOfAlabama, both the website and the Twitter.

[Dec 15, 2019] MSM are looking at RussiaGate from the wrong angle. Actually all those Russians who have been meeting with their American counterparts were iether American agents or the meeting was organized by US/British agent to entrap Trump. Russiagate is less probably the idea that Putin is the CIA agent. Wait...

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

evilempire , Dec 15 2019 20:51 utc | 9

I think we have been looking at RussiaGate from the wrong angle all along. It is actually all those Russians who have been meeting with their American counterparts that are American agents who were colluding with the Americans to interfere in Russian politics.

Yeah, that's it, and it is actually Putin who is the Manchurian agent rather than Trump. The CIA has video of Putin getting a bj from Victoria Nuland while he was helping her give out cookies to the nazies in Maiden Square. Putin does whatever the US wants, like letting Israel bomb Syria at will, letting the nazies run amok in Uraine, poisoning the Skripals, shooting down MH17, poisoning russian athletes by spiking their food with PEDS, hating on the fags and dykes, and poking fun at the munchkin Greta.

Unbeknownst to many is that Greta is also a sleeper agent. Putin has clandestine meetings with her at Dunkin Donuts to plot with her how to destroy Russia. Here's the clincher: Putin sings Fats Domino songs. Pay special attention to Putin when he sings a Fats Domino song because it signals that his Manchurian programming has been triggered and he is about to launch a cruise missile at the bundestag to start WWIII.

The last time he sang Blueberry Hill the president of Poland died in a plane crash, that's how sinister it is. Also, Putin sneaks out of the Kremlin late at night to eat at McDonalds where he colludes with The Big Macs and the Large French Fries to become fat and ugly and splotchy like the Americans.

Lastly, Putin eats his glyphosate wheaties that he gets the hookers who peed on Trump to smuggle in from the US while he watches reruns of Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy. What more proof do you need?

[Dec 15, 2019] The Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau is a U.S. creation. It is therefore not astonishing to find that it is corrupt

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau is a U.S. creation. It is therefore not astonishing to find that it is corrupt.

@kooleksiy 16:29 UTC · Dec 13, 2019
Director of Ukraine's National Anti-corruption Bureau Sytnyk will pay a ~$140 fine for "violation of restrictions on accepting gifts" [valued at ~$1 thousand in his case] - his lawyer stated today after Appellate Court ruling @dw_ukrainian reports www.dw.com/uk/

[Dec 15, 2019] Trump innovations or back in the USSR

Dec 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

john Name 2 days ago

I think it was the USSR where a Jew would have Jew as the nationality in their USSR internal passport. Is this where we are headed?

[Dec 15, 2019] Nunes to Schiff: 'You Need Rehabilitation'

Dec 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"As part of your rehabilitation, it's crucial that you admit you have a problem - you are hijacking the Intelligence Committee for political purposes while excusing and covering up intelligence agency abuses ." -Devin Nunes to Adam Schiff

[Dec 15, 2019] Ahh, this sweet smell of neocon propaganda in the US MSM...

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jayne , Dec 15 2019 14:26 utc | 4

Hey *Politifact*:

"...Obama did sign H.R. 4310 into law, also passing the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. But the bill did not make it legal for independent, private-sector media outlets to present outright false information to the public. Instead, it allowed government-sponsored news like Voice of American to be broadcast in the United States. It removed restrictions on U.S.-generated news from being presented to American audiences.'''"

Oki doki so what about those < cough > "independent, private-sector media outlets" that are blatant 'governement funded fronts' that only 'claim' to be our independent, private-sector media...

[Dec 14, 2019] Can we impeach the FBI instead of Trump ?

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Manthong , 2 hours ago link

Does Alcatraz have enough wall space to accommodate all

Bricker , 3 hours ago link

The majority of the US would be in favor of shutting the FBI down.

j0nx , 3 hours ago link

No. We cannot.

ZENDOG , 3 hours ago link

35,000 Humans work directly for the FBI.

[Dec 14, 2019] At the end of the day, money talks. The peoples from the former Iron Curtain should already had learned that, it's been 30 year already...

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 13 2019 15:56 utc | 68

Hungary has no plans to leave European Union -- top diplomat

At the end of the day, money talks. The peoples from the former Iron Curtain should already had learned that, it's been 30 year already...

[Dec 14, 2019] Here are some of Nancy's best stumbles and bumbles

Jul 27, 2019 | backroombuzz.com
Here are some of Nancy's best stumbles and bumbles.

"It's wonder to be here "

"Imagine the honor to get the NAACP cem -- , centen -- , NAACT centennial anniversary."

"And now it is a great pleasure to be with you here in New York -- in Detroit for the NAAC's 110th anniversary."

"In our new house, the house, the house congressional black caucus "

"We, too, must continue to stand firm for fairness, for generin -- , genuine equality."

"Once we, once we restore the vote and break the grass, the gas, the grasp of special interest "

"A pay raise that is so ex -- , in the workplace, we must achieve health -- , justice and healthcare."

[Dec 14, 2019] "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

Dec 14, 2019 | off-guardian.org

George Cornell ,

"Share On Twitter" target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=So+your+argument+consists+essentially+of+name-...+&url=https%3A%2F%2Foff-guardian.org%2F2019%2F12%2F12%2Fwill-pelosi-have-the-votes-to-impeach%2F%23comment-105752">

So your argument consists essentially of name-calling to exercise your own demons. You make Trump look good, like the other stark raving lunatics opining on this , many in the Democratic Party. You have zero chance of unseating Trump by impeachment and by the looks of things that might not be such a bad thing, he said, making the sign of the cross and mouthing pagan incantations, begging forgiveness from the ether.

You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

[Dec 14, 2019] An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

notabanker , December 13, 2019 at 6:02 pm

An Amazon surveillance device in your child's bedroom, what could possibly go wrong?

I'm past the point of blaming big tech companies. If you are fool enough to pay money to do this, you deserve what you get. American Idiots.

[Dec 14, 2019] I have seen more rational and convincing arguments in emails from Nigerian banisters

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

In a truly bizarre and insane moment during the ongoing impeachment hearing, democrat Congressman Hank Johnson asked fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement. Apparently, he wanted to summon mental images of an "imbalance of power" between the two world leaders.

"They're standing there, President Trump is holding court. And he says, 'Oh, by the way, no pressure.' And you saw President Zelensky shaking his head as if his daughter was downstairs in the basement, duct-taped," Johnson said, drawing laughter from the room.

Decimus Lunius Luvenalis , 1 hour ago link

That dude was a judge. A judge that adjudicated cases.

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment Drama Doomed To Fail From Bad Casting

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Democratic leaders in Congress really should have checked with Central Casting before picking the stars of their passion play: "The Impeachment and Destruction of Donald Trump."

Former National Security Council staffer Fiona Hill was supposed to appear as a principled and dignified heroine. Instead, her virulent hate, ignorance and contempt for Russia were apparent to all. And she looked uncannily identical to the late Alan Rickman playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

Congressman Adam Schiff chaired the House Intelligence Committee hearing and was supposed to be the wise, fearless and incorruptible chairman. Instead, the camera's cruel, unblinking eye revealed him as a buffoon – and a sinister one at that.

Schiff's round bald dome was identical to Mussolini's and his ridiculous bulging eyes are those of Christopher Lloyd's evil cartoon villain Judge Doom in the Hollywood movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

The supposedly heroic Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman of the National Security Council was even worse – Presented as an all-American Patriot, instead he resembled the thick, hulking brutal thug that Hollywood Central Casting always chooses to play endless Russian intelligence service or criminal villains in thousands of bad primetime TV shows.

Kurt Volker was almost as bad. He was the quiet cool, calm, bespectacled villain – always a CIA bureaucrat and usually played by Ronnie Cox – who wants to feed Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Steven Seagal or Bruce Willis to the villains.

And of course – the Real Hero could not appear at all. The Whistleblower's identity is being jealously guarded – though as Senator Rand Paul has pointed out, everyone knows who he is and – far from being a Disinterested Pure Hero, he was a CIA veteran and former senior National Security Council official outspoken in his contempt for the President of the United States: In other words, yet another anonymous Deep State manipulator and apparatchik.

No doubt he will be revealed as the winner on the Fox Television Channel's popular show, "The Masked Singer."

Or perhaps he will reveal himself in an exclusive interview with a fawning Rachel Maddow, still masked and identified as "The Lone Ranger."

( Is this The Whistleblower ?)

Now Rand Paul does have the looks, the bearing, the moral fervor and the dramatic character to play the hero in this botched fiasco of a drama. But there is only one small problem. He is on the other side. He has forcefully publicly defended President Donald Trump.

Gravity – Albert Einstein assures us – "bends" light (A dubious assertion at best but at least Einstein, unlike Schiff and Company Looked the Part he always played – Lovable, Child-Like Jewish Genius Who Never Gets a Hair Cut) And Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has bent the brains of movie directors Nancy Pelosi and Schiff.

Trump Derangement Syndrome: a fearful, incurable affliction more terrible and humiliating than Alzheimer's: Better to forget who you are than remember you are a hate-crazed, foaming at the mouth, credulous idiot who will believe anything.

Like all policy wonks of their aging generation of corrupt and complacent Baby Boomers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Schiff have salivated at the thought of inflicting a "Watergate 2" impeachment drama comeuppance on Donald Trump.

But the Villain of Watergate, Richard Nixon, was indeed an inept and more than slightly sinister creep (and lifelong liberal). He looked the part and he exuded pious bogus ineptitude on camera his entire career. (Nixon's inspiration for how he projected himself on television was clearly Jack Webb playing Sergeant Joe Friday in the wonderfully badly acted "Dragnet" police series on US television in the 1950s.)

By contrast, Donald Trump channels John Wayne, the most popular and enduring movie star in American history:

Trump is a physically big and fearless New York construction businessman turned immensely successful popular entertainer. He, like Wayne is a natural athlete. It is a matter of public record ignored by all fearful liberal wimps that Trump really was offered a contract after college to be Major League Baseball player for the Phillies, but he turned it down to focus on his business career.

Working class American Heartland men and women over 40 instinctively loved Wayne and therefore they love Trump too. Aging American feminists like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren – and the further they are over 50, the more rabid and rage crazed and insane they become – hated Wayne and are traumatized by his resurrection as a defining national culture hero nearly four decades after his physical death echoing in the figure of Trump.

It was Trump's genius at silent reaction shots that ridiculed 17 Republican Congress members, Senators and Governors in the 2015-16 campaign before he even began to turn his wit and video skills on Hillary Clinton – a creepy Richard Nixon clone if there was one.

Trump was crafted by Fate and his brilliant media career from The Apprentice to Worldwide Wrestling Central Casting to be the Hero of Impeachment. Making him the villain reverses the entire emotional dynamic of the drama. It is like casting James Stewart as Nixon. (At worst, Trump is classic King Kong eternally plagued by those pesky biplanes: And everybody roots for Kong)

Liberals who loved Watergate went into emotional frenzies over Nixon's imagined humiliation at the hands of such ludicrous pompous and overpaid fools as Dan Rather of CBS.

Pelosi and her laughably misnamed "advisers" have learned nothing from all this. This week, we are seeing yet more interminable biased show-trial hearings and the even more ludicrous Jerrold Nadler has taken center stage. He looks like Frankenstein's dwarf –servant Igor in Mel Brooks' classic 1973 comic horror movie " Young Frankenstein ."

The bottom line on why Impeachment has failed so miserably to whip up a storm or convince anyone beyond the already committed "Trump Must Go", babies-throwing-tantrums across Liberal America lies in the childishness and elemental incompetence of its cast and directors. Being repulsive and ridiculous human beings themselves, they have no clue how obvious it would be that they would appear that way to everyone else.

[Dec 14, 2019] Instead of ending Afghan war

Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TheLogan , 10 Dec 2019 16:41

The Washington DC foreign policy establishment are too busy appearing before the impeachment inquiry and telling them how the orange man hurt their feelings.
jmac55 , 10 Dec 2019 16:40
File under: Tell us something that we didn't know already!

The reality is of course: that the media knows and understands that we are being lied to all the time about these interventions, be it in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Honduras, Venezuela and soon Iran, but they go along with it all because they are in the regime change echo chamber club!

As George Carlin said: "It's a big club...but you ain't in it!"

[Dec 14, 2019] If Sanders got nominated, he could do what you suggest. He ( or surrogates) . could also coin the phrase The Cowardly Lyin' . . . Trump . . . with a picture of Trump's facial features photoshopped into the center of the face of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:42 am

If Sanders got nominated, he could do what you suggest. He ( or surrogates) . could also coin the phrase The Cowardly Lyin' . . . Trump . . . with a picture of Trump's facial features photoshopped into the center of the face of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. It would be a clever political pun and a memorable visual image. I give it away for free to anyone who wants to use it.

But the CenDems don't want to see Sanders nominated. Or Warren or Gabbard. So they will do all they can to prevent it. The only hope Sanders or Warren or Gabbard has for winning the nomination is to win it on the First Ballot. The only way one of them can do that is if All of their delegates uNANimously combine ALL their delegate votes behind ONE of those three candidates. And ALL the combined delegates for those three candidates would have to ALL uNANimously aGREE to do that . . . and which one to do it for. Because the First Ballot is the one only single chance that the Decent Three have to prevent a Catfood Nominee by getting one of themselves nominated. The CenDems actively and fervently prefer losing with C. Anof Catfood than winning with Sanders or Warren or Gabbard.

As Yoda would say . . . " First Ballot or First Ballot Not! There is no Second Ballot."

If the Decent Three cannot collectively co-win the nomination for one of themselves on Ballot Number One, all they will have left is to obstruct every effort to stop the balloting for a Brokered Convention. They have to make the ballotng go on and on and on . . . until Balloting becomes such torture for the Catfood Delegates that the Catfood Conventioneers will give in to whatever the Decent Three choose to extort from the Catfood Leadership to make the pain stop.

[Dec 14, 2019] I don't want to see the following headline: "Nigel Farage returns hated Conervatives to power" but then such is perfidious Albions style

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Dec 12 2019 21:36 utc | 9

I don't want to see the following headline:
Nigel Farage returns hated Conervatives to power

but then such is perfidious Albions style.

Alternatively this headline would make my day:

Blairite traitors decimated in Corbyn WIN

[Dec 13, 2019] How the USA stepped on their own rake in Afghanistan

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

kropotkinsf => Spillage93, 10 Dec 2019 11:19

Since you bring up the issue of educating schoolgirls, it's worth remembering that when the U.S. connived to drag the Soviet Union into its own Afghanistan conflict, one of the tactics we used to inflame the mujahedeen was to remind them that, under Afghanistan's communist government, girls were being educated as a matter of policy.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Afghan war is 18 years old now. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Chiropolos , 10 Dec 2019 15:56

This war is 18 years old. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place. Afghanistan will figure it out. Once we withdraw to allow Afghanistan to return to self-governance.

[Dec 11, 2019] They'll literally do this on the SAME DAYS.

Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

emmanuelthoreau , 7 minutes ago link

Watch the dates.

Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998. The multiple Senate votes to acquit were on February 12, 1999.

Arlen Specter flaked out with a "not proven" vote. You'll get something like that this time, too.

Same ****. Wake up, Neo. They'll literally do this on the SAME DAYS.

[Dec 10, 2019] Barr says FBI May Have Acted In 'Bad Faith'

Notable quotes:
"... Yea that's what it was, perhaps just a little bad faith. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Calvertsbio , 8 minutes ago link

Yep, some good people, made bad choices...

turbojarhead , 4 minutes ago link

Not exactly -- Obammy isn't out of the woods yet, maybe we will catch that crook after all -- and his wingman too!

wmbz , 27 minutes ago link

"FBI May Have Acted In 'Bad Faith'

Yea that's what it was, perhaps just a little bad faith. Surely there was no intentional intent to do harm to Donald Trump.

...

HardlyZero , 22 minutes ago link

They have a "good faith" in Moloch and Mammon over there. The other faiths have withered and fallen off the branch...

[Dec 10, 2019] An interesting view on Professors corps in US university

Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Greg B , 33 minutes ago

3 crazy professors and 1 NOT crazy professor. That's 75% crazy and 25% not crazy. I am afraid for this country.

[Dec 10, 2019] Pelosi vs Trump: The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

Pelosi is a war criminal due to her role in Iraq war. And this is not a joke...
Notable quotes:
"... "Politics is show business for ugly people". ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lee , December 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

With apologies to Mr. Wilde.

Henry Moon Pie , , December 10, 2019 at 4:08 am

"Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand"

At least they had the right man for the job.

Tom Stone , , December 10, 2019 at 9:48 am

"Politics is show business for ugly people".

Enjoy the show!

[Dec 10, 2019] And now ladies and gentlemen please listen to an important announcement: FBI investigation of Trump campaign staff and interception of his communications was not politically motivated

Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

equaliser , 52 seconds ago

I have a mental age of 4 so let me see if I get this, Your presidential opponent pays for a dossier of dirt that is untrue, and hands it to the FBI who can't be bothered to verify it, lie, to a court, imprison innocent people, with a view to preventing your opponent from winning and should he win use all law enforcement agencies to over turn that election with the dossier being the bulk of evidence.

But it's not politically motivated? OK

[Dec 09, 2019] its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

john brewster , Dec 9 2019 4:29 utc | 64

uncle tungsten @ 40
I loved your metaphor of Germans during WW11 listening to the BBC.

Thank you for the compliment; but I felt sad about the comparison. We are as useless as clear-thinking Germans were against Nazis. And, the allies didn't cut German's any slack postwar just because they had listened to the BBC.

I observe Bannon and his global shenanigans setting up a global 'right sector'. He and the Cambridge Analytica crew have refined social engineering and are putting it in practice in an alarming hurry.

It certainly seems that only the rightwing has weapons of mass propaganda. There is not one powerful voice for the leftwing, just a bunch of midgets constantly being smashed up by TPTB. I agree with Caitlin J - its all about narrative control. And that control belongs to the right, especially since the time the neoliberals hijacked the Democratic Party and turned it into GOP-lite.

The politicisation of all media has run amok in the past few decades it seems. The use of the belligerent debate technique supported by ad hominem attack is a widely practiced tactic these days and it is a sad turn. In this calm space at MoA we thrive.

I think you mean the politicization of the American media, since it is the only media that ever pretended to objective journalism. European media always assumed that a media outlet had a political POV, and that readers consumed the media that matched their politics. The shock of belligerency and ad hominem tactics are only shocking to Americans, raised to believe that the Mighty Wurlitzer was a neutral, fact-based proposition. IMHO, we have passed Frank Zappas's moment when the curtain is pulled back and we see the brick wall at the back of the theater.


[Dec 09, 2019] It is a Warren Commission deja vu all over again

Dec 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

DEDA CVETKO , 32 seconds ago link

Like I said. The Horowitz Report has become a Whore-o-witz report.

Folks, this is what happens when the Deep State is allowed to investigate the Deep State. It is a Warren Commission deja vu all over again.

[Dec 09, 2019] You cannot have a corrupt FBI without a corrupt DOJ: All animals are equal, but some animals, especially pigs, are more equal than others.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

JoeTurner , 12 minutes ago link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipI-uHKizbg&feature=youtu.be

Wow, even fake news NBC is pooping themselves over FISA mishandling. I predict whiplash with how fast the fake news, drive-by media throws Comey, Clapper and Brennan under the bus to protect Hillary and Obongo.

Ophiuchus , 9 minutes ago link

Don't bet on anyone taking a fall. All animals are equal, but some animals, especially pigs, are more equal than others.

Lie_Detector , 17 minutes ago link

Deep state covering the deep state.

At what point do the masses decide enough is enough?

[Dec 09, 2019] Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania. They'll be living in the Free World again! Smaller this time around, but Freeeee!!!

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Erebus , says: December 8, 2019 at 5:50 am GMT

@denk Relax denk.

The world is simply re-bifurcating into 2 camps. More specifically, the Anglo-World is splitting away from whatever parts it can't bring into their sphere of dominance. They couldn't dominate the whole playground, so they're taking their toys and carving out a corner of it for themselves.

The current demonisation of China and Russia sets the stage for the real split that will happen in the 2020s. Gotta get the sheeple used to the notion so that they will accept, even demand, bringing the Bamboo Curtain down when the time comes.

What we're seeing now in Europe, the M.E., S. America etc is nothing more than the Anglo-World's attempt to bring more along with them, and the RoW's attempts to minimize their success.

With people like these, who needs the ptb ???

The PTB needs the people, not the other way around. People are happy to believe anything that makes them comfortable. Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania.

They'll be living in the Free World again! Smaller this time around, but Freeeee!!!

It worked the last time. It'll work this time too. One stands in awe of how easy it is.

[Dec 09, 2019] Who is running this country

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT

@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

"CIA runs your country." -- Correct. As a subsidiary of Mossad.

[Dec 09, 2019] Sex and US Foreign Policy

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

melpol , says: December 5, 2019 at 8:04 pm GMT

Millions of mistresses are being expensively supported by defense contractors and their employees. Horny men are not ready to give up defense spending needed to support their gals for the sake of international peace. Blame it on those expensive Harlots for keeping them bullets flying.
Z-man , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:28 pm GMT
@melpol Brahahaaaaa! Your are right. It was truer then ('60's) than now but it's still happening for sure.

George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtJzF6PD2nMhttps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8icpnrLqx0
Funny and true.

[Dec 09, 2019] Why is Putin silent against Israel repeated attack on Syria? Syria is an 'ally' of Russia, isn't it? And has a base in Syria, does not?

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Vojkan , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:16 pm GMT

@anonymous Because Israel is cautious not to cross a line beyond which Russia will have no choice but to retaliate. Contrary to Americans, Russians don't have a short fuse and don't feel the need to "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world she means business".

Since Russia got involved, Israel's actions have had exactly zero effect on the course of events in Syria. Russia's goal is not to further ignite the Middle East. Overreacting to Israel's gesticulations would be counterproductive.

AnonFromTN , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:59 pm GMT
@Er e

Clamoring for retaliation. Putin only retaliated economically, although it was pretty bad for Turkey. The Uncle showed his "gratitude" by helping the coup. Putin likely forewarned the sultan about that coup, so it failed miserably as the result.

Now he holds sultan firmly by the balls, economically, politically, and militarily, using Turks to push the US around in Syria and selling them S-400, so that Uncle won't be able to "democratically" bomb Turkey.

That's the game worthy of the Grand Master, while Trump and pathetic Europeans play checkers, at best (their game often degenerates to the level of tick-tack-toe).

[Dec 08, 2019] The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

Notable quotes:
"... For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine. ..."
"... But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest? ..."
"... And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest: ..."
"... To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense. ..."
"... It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts. ..."
"... In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities. ..."
"... The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan... ..."
"... I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp. ..."
"... Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution. ..."
"... Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told. ..."
"... Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level. ..."
"... The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet.. ..."
"... The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc. ..."
"... The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed ..."
"... BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already) ..."
"... Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success. ..."
"... Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. ..."
"... This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN. ..."
"... So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction. ..."
"... After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on. ..."
"... It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.) ..."
"... Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative. ..."
"... I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what? ..."
"... Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda. ..."
"... You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them. ..."
"... IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now. ..."
"... it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot! ..."
"... It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense. ..."
"... As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism. ..."
Dec 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During yesterday's impeachment hearing at the House House Judiciary Committee one of the Democrats' witnesses made some rather crazy statements. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, first proved to have bought into neo-conservative delusions about the U.S. role in the world:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' as Mr. Jefferies said, but it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home.

As people in Bolivia and elsewhere can attest the United States does not promote democracy. It promotes rightwing regimes and rogue capitalism. The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:

Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks on the Ukraine and Russia:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here , but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

That was not an joke. From the video it certainly seems that the woman believes that nonsense.

For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.

But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest?

One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?

And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest:

[U.S. special envoy to Ukraine] Volker started his job at the State Department in 2017 in an unusual part-time arrangement that allowed him to continue consulting at BGR, a powerful lobbying firm that represents Ukraine and the U.S.-based defense firm Raytheon. During his tenure, Volker advocated for the United States to send Raytheon-manufactured antitank Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- a decision that made Raytheon millions of dollars.

The missiles are useless in the conflict . They are kept near the western border of Ukraine under U.S. control. The U.S. fears that Russia would hit back elsewhere should the Javelin reach the frontline in the east and get used against the east-Ukrainians. That Trump shortly held back on some of the money that would have allowed the Ukrainians to buy more of those missiles thus surely made no difference.

To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense.

It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts.

The Democrats are doing themselves no favor by producing delusional and partisan witnesses who repeat Reaganesque claptrap. They only prove that the whole affair is just an unserious show trial.

In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities.

Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?

Posted by b on December 5, 2019 at 15:40 UTC | Permalink


Mischi , Dec 5 2019 15:45 utc | 1

next page " never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.
bevin , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 2
This is the woman that Common Dreams describes as a leading legal scholar. And maybe she is, it would certainly help explain the current state of the US Judiciary and the legal system, which reflects internally the utter contempt for law and custom which characterises US behaviour in international affairs.
DG , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 3
The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan...
Duncan Idaho , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 4
History is not a strong point for the Dims., as it conflicts with ideology. The Repugs just loot and plunder, with little regard for history.
oldhippie , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 5
There is a large cohort of Americans who believe every word the professor spoke. Whatever you and I may think about it the professor's view of the world is normative for the educated class in America.
rednest , Dec 5 2019 16:02 utc | 6
Regarding those food stamps, it is actually just a small rule change lowering the unemployment rate to 6% (from 10%) above which a state can waive the existing work requirement for single, non-disabled recipients aged 18-49. States can still also waive it if they deem that job availability is low.
Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7
Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor karlan may affirm: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary. Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

Budapest has signaled that it will not support Ukraine's bid to join NATO until Kiev reverses a law that places language restrictions on ethnic Hungarians and other minorities living in the country.

Legislation that limits the use of Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, and other minority languages in Ukraine must be repealed before Hungary backs Ukraine's NATO membership, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

"We ask for no extra rights to Hungarians in Transcarpathia, only those rights they had before," Szijjarto told Hungarian state media at a NATO summit in London. He alleged that 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the region have been "seriously violated" by Ukraine.[.]

In February, Ukraine's parliament ratified amendments to the constitution which made NATO membership a key foreign policy objective. However, a number of hurdles still remain before its membership is likely to be seriously considered. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicted in 2016 that it would be 20-25 years before Ukraine would be able to join NATO and the EU.

Tick Tock , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 8
I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp.

Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 9
Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told.

People must free themselves of partisan affiliations that are just levers used to manipulate them.

The establishment uses Democracy Works! propaganda to give you a false sense of power and security. But the people are an afterthought in US/Western politics. The politicians and their Parties work for the money. Much of that money comes from AIPAC, MIC, and other EMPIRE FIRST organizations that are leading us to WAR.

Lazy Americans must get off the couch and form protest Movements. Movements that the establishment works hard to prevent. This is what it takes: France Paralyzed By Largest General Strike In Decades .

It's messy and inconvenient but power only responds to power.

The stoopid cult-thinking must stop. This is where it leads: Buffalo Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Cover-Up . Why do people cling to a corrupt Catholic Church? It's NOT just a few bad apples!! The pedophilia and cover-ups have been worldwide and reach into the highest levels of the Church.

This Buffalo Bishop, like dozens of other Bishops in the last decades, lied to cover for pedophiles and then used the power of his position to remain in his position. His wasn't for the children or any higher morality but for himself. He will get a nice, peaceful retirement - paid for by the deluded Catholic flock.

!!

vk , Dec 5 2019 16:19 utc | 10
In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it.

The reason for that if very simple: the Democrats agree with Trump on this.It's the same question many ask when studying Roman History for the first time: where were the legions when the Goths invaded? The answer is that the Goths were the legions, there was no invasion.

The same logic applies to the Right-Left political spectrum in modern Western Democracies. "Where are the lefties?" is the modern question the first worlders ask themselves since 2008.

--//--

As for the Pamela Karlan thing, it's an issue I've been commenting on here for some time now, so I won't repeat everything.

I'll just say again that imbecilization is a completely normal historical phenomenon in declining empires: the earlier example we have is the Christianization of the Roman Empire after Marcus Aurelius' death. The rise of Christianity was the messenger of the Crisis of the Third Century, the historic episode which ended the Roman Empire by giving birth to its demented form after the Diocletian Reforms.

Empires tend to have a very plastic conception of truth, that is, they believe they can fabricate reality for the simple reason they are geopolitically dominant.

It's easy to visualize this. The greatest philosopher of the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th Century was a German, not a British. While Hegel wrote his proto-revolutionary works which would pave the way to Karl Marx, in UK we had the likes of Mackinder and Mahan dominating British philosophical thinking. And even then they weren't the dominant intellectual figures: the UK was the land of accountants and economists, not philosophers. The reason for this is that neither Hegel nor Marx had any ships to do gunboat diplomacy in Asia, as the British did.

Empires tend to think and rationalize the world in a much more plastic/practical way than the periphery. As the old saying goes: the stronger side doesn't need to think before it acts.

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11
"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

Bill H , Dec 5 2019 16:32 utc | 12
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it."

Bill Clinton took millions off of welfare support and was applauded for it.

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:37 utc | 13
Scroll down the page @ Steven Cheung {VID} on Twitter to watch this exchange where the RATS are told they are the ones who have abused power. Professor Jonathan Turley, a lawyer's go-to-Constitutional Expert:

"The Record does not establish corruption in this case - no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, no abuse of power."

Trump should include Prof. Turley on his legal team. The RATS have not thought this through to what will unfold in the Senate. A real court trial; No hearsay and no! no! no! "I was made aware" And the Bidens, Schiff, and Pelosi under cross-examination. And the Whistleblower!!!

Year 2025 it is.

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14
I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.
Vonu , Dec 5 2019 16:40 utc | 15
Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level.
Chevrus , Dec 5 2019 16:47 utc | 16
To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

This predates 2003 and stems from the red menace days when it was the communist legions would behave like a set of dominoes and eventually we (USA) would be fighting them in the streets of New York etc. Thus it was imperative that they defeat the commies in French Indo-China despite the fact that they could easily have simply bought the nation by supporting Uncle Ho who had been working for the OSS during WW2. But no, they had to win brownie points with the French by bankrolling their effort to retake the nation and when that didn't work a little "false flag" event employed to keep the ball rolling. I use quotations because while being false, the Tonkin Gulf event wasn't much of a flag.....

At any rate the fact that both Demublicans AND Republocrats are falling back on such antiquated rhetoric is bitterly laughable! It can also be seen as an indicator of just how dumbed down the USAn populace has become. As noted above article, how could anyone think that the RF would plan much less attempt an attack on the continental US?! A closer look at recent history has the US and it's poodles surrounding the RF with missile bases, sanctioning and embargoing the fhaak out it, and generally trying to destroy the nation as a whole with whatever clandestine methods are available. But hey, take a page from the book of Cheney: deny everything and make counter accusations.....

james , Dec 5 2019 16:52 utc | 17
thanks b... propaganda is the usa's education... see your breakdown of the nyt articles... most people don't get this...

The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet..

james , Dec 5 2019 16:55 utc | 18
wikipedia on pamela karlan.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_S._Karlan

"Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10] She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter when he retired in 2009.[11]

Personal life

Karlan told Politico in 2009, "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd".[12] She has described herself as an example of a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish women".[13] Her partner is writer Viola Canales.[14]

she is not an American women apparently.. she is a Jewish women.. oh well, lol...

Perimetr , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 19
The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc.

Believe me, even here in the red states, you won't find a hell of a lot of faculty members at large universities who are Trump supporters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

Lorenz , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20

What I find absent in most discussions about impeachment of Trump is the 800 pound gorilla - what will happen to the US if against all odds, Trump gets impeached. Could the US survive that cataclysmic event or would it rip the empire apart? What contingency plans does everybody make for that unlikely, but not impossible singularity?
Dave , Dec 5 2019 17:00 utc | 21
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities."

That's why it's called bread and circus. The loot and pillage party's two separate funding arms get their funding and privilege from the same sociopath/psychopaths who operate the mass murder for profit economy we now live in.

They will continue the slaughter until the enforcers within society finally understand they work for criminally insane cultists who will never have enough money, power, and prestige.

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:02 utc | 22
I see that distrust to everything that is good and decent is extended to law professors. Stanford is a short (if sometimes slow) ride from Berkeley that has a more famous professor in its own law school (Wiki):[you know

John Choon Yoo (born July 10, 1967)[4] is a Korean-American attorney, law professor, former government official, and author. Yoo is currently the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.[1] Previously, he served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the Department of Justice, during the George W. Bush administration.

He is best known for his opinions concerning the Geneva Conventions that attempted to legitimize the Bush administration's War on Terror. He also authored the so-called Torture Memos, which provided a legal rationale for so-called [you know what] =====

First, they torture logic... The ignorants who could not tell tollens from a toilet brush would not even know what to twist, hence the need for professors.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 23
@ b who wrote

"The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:"

My only quibble with another great post is the assertion that the US is functional. Functional would mean it had supportive infrastructure but instead we have homeless shitting in the street because they are driven out of the parks to do so and they must be bad people that don't deserve public toilets.

Functional would mean, as Jackrabbit linked to above, and a I i did a few hours ago in the Weekly Open Thread, that there wouldn't be 117 sexually abusive Catholic priests in the Buffalo NY area doing the same thing as Epstein was doing to his clients.

Functional would mean we would not have the blatant hypocrisy Chervus quoted from the posting above

"To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

I agree with Chervus that this is same BS that got us the Iron Curtain with Russia after WWII because they wanted Godless communism instead of global private finance. And also, as I ranted recently in the Open Thread, this gave us the 1950's change to the US Motto to In God We Trust which gets back to the control of the obfuscatory/hypocrisy narrative telling us that the private finance cult are doing God's work and that "competition is good/sharing is bad"

The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 24
Ha! More connections to Stanford: "Ancient Logic: Forerunners of Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already)

Ant. , Dec 5 2019 17:17 utc | 25
I think it's tragic that that creatures like Karlan are not simply seen as the blatant bigots and Nazi's that they are. You have to be wearing a large set of blinkers not to be able to see that.

Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success.

The biggest tragedy is that Americans seem to think that the only way to succeed is to tear down any other country that isn't essentially a puppet government, necessarily defining them as 'enemies', and therefore someone/thing that must be hated and destroyed, by any means, fair or foul.

Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. Unless, of course, a quarter of your government tax income is dedicated to supporting an amazingly corrupt Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 17:27 utc | 26
Trump supporters approve of cutting food stamps. The majority of Democratic Party politicians approve of cutting food stamps. Both parties agree times are good and the future is rosy. The only thing they disagree on is foreign policy. The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,) refuses to play by the rules on foreign policy. And he is not justified by success, not in any terms, not in making peace, not in winning, not in anything. The only people who are upset about impeaching Trump are Trump lovers and cranks who think being president is like being elected God and no one but sinners can defy Him.

The Trump supporters were going to turn out for him anyway, barring an economic crisis even they couldn't ignore. Impeachment has no downside so long as it is from the right, and doesn't rile up the rich people. Except the rich donors are leaving the Democratic Party anyway. The strategy for a nicey-nice campaign that leaves enough Trump voters soothed enough to sit it out has one enormous defect: Trump was not elected by the people anyhow.

But the Democratic Party politicians are anti-Communist, which means pro-Fascist, so yes, they do see this as (im)moral principles to die for, though they hope to politically kill for it. Their problem is, Trump is also anti-Communist and pro-Fascist, which everyone knows, which means Trump was merely his office for campaigning. That may be hypocritical and a violation of campaign laws. But in the eyes even of the anti-Communist/pro-Fascist population missiles for Ukrainian fascists with strings or without strings is merely a tactical disagreement. Even worse, the president breaking laws is perceived as strong leadership, smashing the machine, getting rid of those awful politicians and their oppressive government.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:37 utc | 27
This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN.

I don't know why anyone would expect anything different. All system schooling at whatever level boils down to the same two goals:

  1. Instill the basic literacy necessary for a given cog position within the hierarchy.
  2. Instill obedience to authority, including indoctrination into its ideology.

From kindergarten to grad school these are the same; whether one's being trained to pump gas or to assume a high position in the corporate world/government/academia these are the same.

So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction.

That's the American system.

mrr52 , Dec 5 2019 17:42 utc | 28
"One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?"

I assume this question was meant rhetorically. After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on.

For a related, institutionalized, revolting example packaging multiple instances of such delusional thought, see "russias-dead-end-diplomacy-syria" . Have a pail nearby to catch the spew.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:46 utc | 29
steven t johnson 26

"The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,)"

I don't think you ever answered when I asked you last time: Are you saying you think Hillary was so stupid she didn't know about the electoral college, and that it was electoral votes she had to fight for, not popular ones? Because if you're not saying that, then nothing is changed: Trump beat Hillary in the electoral fight they were both trying to win. It's pure nonsense to babble about "technicalities".

And if any significant Democrat faction was saying throughout 2016, and not just after the election, that the election should NOT be about electoral votes, please direct me to where and when they were saying that, because I don't recall ever hearing it. And I think the reason I never heard it was because the Dems were so smugly sure of electoral college victory. And if Hillary had won, we never would've heard a word from you or anyone else about the electoral college.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 17:47 utc | 30
Piotr Berman @24:
it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong while wrecking its economy
It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.)

Why would anyone invest in Ukraine? Sometimes I think Putin was happy for the Western coup to succeed and simply planned to keep the best parts.

!!

casey , Dec 5 2019 17:48 utc | 31
But do they really believe what they (the mid-level elites) say or is it all some kind of theater of the increasingly absurd? I am never clear on who among the narrative managers is sincere and who is simply acting sincere. Are people like this woman or the Bellingcat narrative managers or any of their numerous colleagues in their mid-level narrative management positions occupying their positions simply due to their acting abilities? They seem to be both delusional and ill-informed. When these people get together at their conferences and dinner parties, does the mask come off?
juannie , Dec 5 2019 17:49 utc | 32
Mischi #1
never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

Or as I think it was Einstein that reportedly said: (I paraphrase from memory)

To truly understand the infinite, just contemplate human stupidity.
vk , Dec 5 2019 18:02 utc | 33
Related news (on the subject of "American delusion"):

NATO Is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World. -- Europe without American protection is a continental disaster waiting to happen.

Well, mr. Stephens kind of tells the truth on the headline. But at least he could be more polite.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 18:03 utc | 34
casey @31: When these people get together ... does the mask come off?

I doubt it. They have convinced themselves that they are right and/or are following the wishes of people who are right-thinking. In USA, most people are brainwashed to assume that people with lots of money are right-thinking (as in: they must be doing something right!).

Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

!!

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36
Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
karlof1 , Dec 5 2019 18:31 utc | 38
Upton Sinclair self-published a book in 1922 about education in America entitled Goose Step . Predating the infamous era of the Nazi/Fascist Goose Stepping thugs then armies, I read a preview and found an inexpensive copy. The subject as might be assumed was about the use of school systems to indoctrinate young Americans at all educational levels and nationwide to conform to the views of the rather few wealthy people who sat on interlocking boards that controlled curriculum--sort of like the oligarchic control over media today.

And as we've seen with the study of political-economy, the ability to erase rather recent developments and personages and inserting false doctrines and their priests was done rather easily and with little noted protest. And so it's gone on down through the decades until today--just look at the War Criminals hired by Stanford and other universities for proof of its being an ongoing problem.

That ideological blinders are omnipresent is easily proven by the various defense planning documents referenced here over the last several years, all of which relate to the unilateral, might makes right mindset that's one of the Evil Outlaw US Empire's longstanding traits that predates the 20th Century. Too many will never learn humility and the reality accompanying it until it's enforced. But there's a wiser group residing within the Empire, some of us present at this bar ready to deal with the mess once humpty-dumpty falls from its perch upon which it's currently tottering.

Beibdnn , Dec 5 2019 18:40 utc | 42
I just looked up Pamala Karlan. Apparently there is a story that when she was a baby she was so ugly her parents had to put shutters on her pram. She claims to have a partner? There's no accounting for taste I suppose but even for a U.S. citizen there must be a red line. Somewhere? someone! As to her intellectual prowess, in my limited understanding, intellect depends on the platform it rests upon. Put a Jaguar engine into a Mobility scooter and see how well that performs. Plenty of power but no means of utilising it. Logical mechanisms such as law require as little emotion as possible. People like her just bring the demise of a great nation into action sooner rather than later. I suppose we should be grateful such fools consider Russia an adversary, it's makes predicting what comes next much more clear and succinct action can be instigated. Professor Pamela Karlan. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
james , Dec 5 2019 18:58 utc | 44
@29 russ...steven is making himself look like a fool regularly with that crap.. oh well..

@36 really? yes, indeed.. same faulty logic one would expect from a stanford law prof.. as @22 piotr rightly notes - john yoo, the freak who could make torture in abu graib okay is another one cut from the very same cloth..

i see one of Pamela Karlans comments got the ire of melania trump.. article here..

"The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can't MAKE him a baron." Pamela S. Karlan

"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it." -- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019

Karlan apologized for her remark as the hearing continued late Wednesday. "It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it."

nwwoods , Dec 5 2019 19:19 utc | 45
Universally accepted fact among the devoted is that "America is fighting Russia in the Ukraine", though there are exactly zero confirmed reports of Russian troops in the region in the past five years.
Joost , Dec 5 2019 19:22 utc | 46
Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative.

I remember one student dorm in particular. Someone came in and decided it was too warm. Put the central heating thermostat on "arctic winter", opened all doors and windows while it was freezing outside. Then someone else came in and decided it was cold, closed all doors and windows, put the thermostat on "incinerate". Repeat 24/7. The few times I tried to explain how a thermostat works, I felt like being rubbed out of existence. Only one guy understood that you set a room thermostat at a comfortable level and it would regulate to desired temperature. He was an alcoholic, always stoned up to his eyeballs, not a student except for the 3 or 4 studies he briefly tried and failed, and had given up on life in general. He was also the only one there who questioned things.

!!

Yevgeny , Dec 5 2019 19:36 utc | 51
Why assume that democracy was not always a trick? Pax Romana anyone?

Also there are some pretty nasty comments on here about the confused professor that say a whole lot more about the hangups of the poster.

Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 19:39 utc | 52
I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what?

--------- The food stamp program changes will kill people. As intended. One of the most affected groups will be people who are too sick or otherwise too impaired to work, and maybe unable to even leave their home, but still can't get social support. The system says there is no problem because desperate people can get a free meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the other 363 days a year, go find a dumpster to dive in.

Almost all Social Security Disability applicants are denied on the initial application. There are no interim payments or support of any kind. Many give up, as intended. The rest file appeals and wait years for a hearing before an "administrative law judge", who is not a "real" judge, but just some lawyer with fancy title.

ALJ decisions tend to be rather arbitrary, so a favorable decision depends on which ALJ hears a case. Sure there are more levels to appeal, and many more years of no social support, if an applicant can find a way to survive for years on zero income, all the while being sick with probably no medical care.

Social Security and disability lawyers have colluded to keep lawyers in business. Social Security requires the use of a standard contract that gives the lawyer a fixed percentage of the retroactive benefits. "Retroactive benefits" are the regular monthly benefits that accrue from the officially determined "date of disability". So if it takes three years to get benefits, the lawyer gets a nice chunk of change for a few hours work writing a brief and showing up for the hearing.

The lawyer who signed my contract did nothing to help my case, and he even hired someone else to write the brief and attend the hearing. One wonders if ALJs get some benefit from lawyers to encourage long wait times, since long wait times increase lawyer profits at zero cost.

The US system really is that cruel and barbaric. It would be kinder to take us out back and shoot us, but that's too obvious. Much better to let people die slowly in the shadows so the rest of society doesn't have to see us.

And I'm one of the fortunates who managed to hang on, despite bankruptcy, a civil suit, the disability benefits process (only took six years), and state attempts to revoke Medicaid, all at the same time. I know it sounds melodramatic, made up, or at least exaggerated. That's understandable, because it seems that way to me, too!

About 1000 people a week kill themselves in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Does anyone wonder why, or even notice? The reason for many of these deaths is the lack of social supports. In Uncle Sam Land, social apoptosis is a feature, not a bug.

chet380 , Dec 5 2019 20:07 utc | 54
Did anyone really expect the Dems to appoint unbiased legal scholars to advise them on the finer legal points of the Articles of Impeachment?
Kooshy , Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55
This fucking shining city on the hill, is so f*ing shiny that it's flames is burning the world.
steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:11 utc | 56
Russ@29 forgot the comments where I've reviewed exactly how everybody rejected the Electoral College, holding legitimacy came from winning the real election. Until Gore, every time the EC violated the expectation that it was a technical way of recording the popular vote, there was justified outrage. Bush's camp in 2000 had plans to contest an EC loss, until that shoe turned out to be on the other foot. If Trump had won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, he would no more accept the results. Only liars take refuge in the simplistic legalisms. And only Trump ass-lickers are so contemptible as to pretend Trump was the stable genius who outplayed Clinton in the real game. Trump had no more idea how to win the EC without winning the popular vote than anyone else. Further, by the witless pretended principles of Russ' ilk, a presidential candidate who managed to win faithless electors who ignored even their own states' pluralities* would still be the legitimate president! Every single defender of Trump the one legitimate president is witless and worthless.

But very likely the real objection to the response is the insistence that Trump isn't magically guaranteed re-election because...well, the real reason is slavish devotion to a God named Trump. Even with the advantage of incumbency this time around, with even more support from the wealthy (the people who have really turned away from the Democratic Party to favor political gangsterism,) Trump is likely to lose the election again. If I were in Congress I would offer a compromise, where the Republicans were assured Trump would not be investigated any more, much less impeached, for abolition of the Electoral College. But I think Trump would say no, because he knows deep down he's a loser.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:13 utc | 57
*US politicians rarely win majorities of the electorate. Politicians of all stripes have agreed that non-voting is always to be deemed as "Satisfied" with either choice instead of "Alienated, with no choice." Decent people suspect otherwise.
goldhoarder , Dec 5 2019 20:23 utc | 58
@38 Karloff1 You can still Read the late John Taylor Gatto's The Underground History of American Education online. He did a great job highlighting the history and purpose of copying the Prussian style of education to replace the one room school houses and instill the "martial spirit" in the American public. I have to hand it to the Oligarchs of old too. They were very effective in their implementation.

[malformed/wrong link deleted - b.]

nietzsche1510 , Dec 5 2019 20:31 utc | 60
Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda.
Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 20:39 utc | 61
I knew that name sounded familiar...
John Taylor Gatto, former New York City and New York State teacher of the year, stated:

The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders; and John Holt concluded, School is a place where children learn to be stupid . . . Children come to school curious; within a few years most of that curiosity is dead, or at least silent.

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Jen , Dec 5 2019 21:15 utc | 66
I recall when I was a student at the University of Technology, Sydney, way back in the Mesozoic era (1980s), the economics dept there had a lecturer there with a Harvard University background so the staff made him head of the department. Just because he had a Harvard University PhD. He was hardly a great administrator and the subjects he taught (compared with other lecturers' subjects) were much less structured. Of course this meant the courses he taught were easier on students' time and energy, though if you made use of the opportunity a less structured course gave, you could turn in an end-of-term essay with impressive research equivalent to the level required of a post-grad.

The university also had an exchange program with the University of Oregon, and most of the Oregon students who came to UTS (usually in their second or third year) found the UTS coursework very heavy-going and difficult.

In those days, UTS was only supposed to be a second-tier university in Australia.

ac , Dec 5 2019 21:34 utc | 68
This hearing is a theatre performance (kabuki -- hey, I learned a new word, thanks) and PK's lines are an invocation of the official US myth (the shinning city on the hill, the exceptional, indispensible nation). No one in the room took that seriously or literally (especially PK herself) and IMHO these national myths are not really anything to freak out about - every nation has got its myth, and this is an arrogant one, but compared to a few others it's almost likeable.

Of course it is at odds with historical records and the reality, but all of them are, because, frankly, the truth, being descendants of genocidal, religious nutters and slavers, is apparently very motivational -- in the KSA...

The RU/UK lines are slightly more worrisome, but that's just a matching background for her story - the fluff. She doesn't have to belive it - it's just a performance, an elegant one but meaningless in the end.

A lot of the visitors comment about the deep state, most of the time mentioning three letter agencies. Here comes a piece about a four letters one, acting more or less in the plain sight: OIRA, E.O. 12866

A group of virtually anonymous, unaccountable people wields quite considerable power over both legislative and executive. A very interesting construction...

information_agent , Dec 5 2019 22:08 utc | 70
Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 5 2019 21:03 utc | 65

You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them.

And Goldhoarder, while you may not mind how your posts look, you've managed to damage this comment thread and until b deletes your poorly structured post, we all suffer for it.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 22:31 utc | 71
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 21:51 utc | 72 who seems to disagree with my concept "dysfunctional on purpose" and wants to use decadence instead and wrote: " Surely there must be some functionality to be able to keep the masses dumbed down/brainwashed; it implies some sort of thought out strategy. How do we get the same narrative trotted out in media in exactly the same format from LA to Warsaw, from Lima to Bangalore if it's all so dysfunctional? "

I posit that strategy of "dysfunctional on purpose" is control of the narrative and language and it is purposefully used.

Consider the current seeming understanding of the terms, socialism and capitalism by many of your fellow barflies. Many of our fellow barflies would have one believe that China is socialist and the West is capitalist...exclusively. I and a few others keep trying to point out that both China and the West are, to varying degrees mixed economies, including aspects of both socialism and capitalism

Consider the implicit definition of government if you will. Is government, as compared to dictatorships, not explicitly socialistic? Are not the provision of water, sewage treatment and in many case electricity explicitly socialistic by definition? Is it not dumbing down and brainwashing that many don't understand reality but spout the words and concepts they are fed by those in control of the narrative and media pushing it?

And, not to make too fine a point of it, does all of the West not live under the dictatorship of global private finance at this time? So how much more would I get ignored if I beat that drum as part of my comments here?

Ian2 , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 75
Lorenz | Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20:

IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now.

Also, don't expect the Electoral College to oust Pence after the general election since he's more pro-war; even the electors from Democrat controlled states would support him. IMHO, the US would continue on; business as usual.

However, if the Democrats are crazy enough to follow through, the Republican dominated Senate would reject it. Basically a repeat of what happened to Clinton. In the end, nothing changed.

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 76
James #44

""It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it.""

Ya but . . .as Tucker Carlson spot-on reacted, that comment sure looked as though it had been rehearsed in front of the bathroom mirror. It was sooooo lame!!! I mean, it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot!

It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense.

Never a connection with a child, I'll bet, or she could never have said such a thing. Painful to look at the pinched little face, decent hairdo missing in action, with the rant coming out of the tight little mouth. A pathetic individual.

Ditto Noah Feldman from the Felix Frankfurter Dept of the Harvard Law School: Pure bloviation with skin like a baby's bottom. Better coiffed, actually, than Karlan. Quels types!!!

Jen , Dec 5 2019 23:21 utc | 80
Jackrabbit @ 68:

My comment @ 67 was actually just to highlight the (most undeserved) reputations that places like Harvard and Stanford have among certain faculties in Australian universities. In those days Stanford, Harvard and MIT were the holiest of holy shrines to do business studies / economics degrees. Years later I read a book by someone who actually did do a Stanford MBA and the scales fell from my eyes then. The work was similar to what I'd done as an undergraduate (albeit collapsed in the space of 18 months; I had the luxury of doing part-time and then going full-time as a student).

I should have added that the Harvard PhD guy who taught me comparative economics was a lousy teacher as well as a lousy administrator. I visited his office once and it looked as if a tornado had just hit it. To be fair though, he really wasn't cut out to be a lecturer, he was much better at research and analysis.

Before he became a lecturer, he worked at the CIA as a researcher. He knew next to no German (he was of Polish background) so he was assigned to the section to read East German newspapers. A fellow he knew who could speak and read German but no Bulgarian was assigned to the ... Bulgarian section. That experience must account for my lecturer's sloppy personal style.

But now that you draw my attention to the link, yes you are right that the study was done at Princeton University.

oldhippie , Dec 6 2019 0:18 utc | 87
@81

Why do you assume a technical illiterate could read those instructions? I can't even begin to do anything with that. It is never simple enough for those who have not been initiated.

HTML works by magic. Your instructions do not convince me otherwise.

Better solution is to forgo links altogether if not competent. Or spell out the link and force the really interested to transcribe. Of course no one is going to go to effort of spelling out a link as long as that one above. Which would be a good thing.

Jen , Dec 6 2019 0:27 utc | 88
She's been gone some time now (she died in April 2018) but Karen Dawisha , a so-called expert on Russian and post-Soviet politics who obtained a higher degree at the London School of Economics, was another deluded academic twat who wrote the book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?"

The 1-star, 2-star and 3-star reviews on Amazon.com of the book refer to the tabloid quality of many of the claims in the book, poor sourcing, cherry-picking of facts and the author's inability to write at a level that would attract a readership outside the academic community.

The least we can say for her is that she is no longer in a position to, erm, "advise" the US and UK governments on issues and help formulate policy that would backfire on Washington and London anyway.

ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 98
As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games. Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

Gal , Dec 6 2019 2:19 utc | 99
I'd say unbelievable but I know that is only wishful thinking on my part. What's scary is that these people populate the "educational" system which explains why we're as screwed as we are.

[Dec 08, 2019] Nadler: Trump Will 'Rig' 2020 Election If He Isn't Impeached And Removed

Rephrasing Fran Zappa: "Dems Impeachment hearings is the Entertainment division of the intelligences agencies."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Nadler also said he would reject witnesses requested by the GOP, calling them "not relevant" to the allegations.

For example, he said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), whom the Republicans have requested as a witness, did not witness any of the actions and therefore is not relevant to call as a witness.

[Dec 08, 2019] Anti-Semite is any person who does not contribute to Jewish settlements; who does not believe in God-chosen Jewish nation being above all laws

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

I am all for such definitions; their scope is too narrow, if anything.

I'd prefer a broad definition that would describe as anti-Semite any person who attends a church or a mosque; who does not contribute to Jewish settlements; who does not believe in God-chosen Jewish nation being above all mortal laws.

Maybe then the Gentiles would be healed of their fear of being labelled 'anti-Semite'.

[Dec 08, 2019] Washington as the Sinning City of the neocon shills: neo-conservative delusions about the US role in the world, and Iraq war propaganda redux

Notable quotes:
"... Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror? ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36

Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
AntiSpin , Dec 5 2019 21:09 utc | 65
Kooshy | Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55

It's really the Sinning City of the Shills

[Dec 08, 2019] Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops

Notable quotes:
"... Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we. ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America : "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members .

Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we.

[Dec 08, 2019] Putin did it again: Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops

Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops by Tyler Durden Sun, 12/08/2019 - 17:40 0 SHARES

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America : "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members .

Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we.

File image via EPA/NBC

Perhaps American soldiers are simply sick and tired of the US military and intelligence machine's legacy of ashes across the globe and recognize the inconvenient fact that Russia most often has been on the complete opposite side of Washington's disastrous regime change wars .

Nothing to see here...

The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally .

Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year .

...While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concerned . -- VOA

Perhaps US military households are also smart enough to know the Cold War is long over, and only bad things can come from a direct confrontation with Russia, not to mention that involvement in proxy war in Ukraine has nothing to do with America's national defense or to "protect and defend the Constitution" .

To be expected, the VOA's presentation of the new poll which finds more service members are 'sympathetic' to Russia is heavy on the supposed 'Trump-Russia nexus' narrative and emphasizes an uptick in Kremlin propaganda, while failing to acknowledge a failed legacy of 'endless wars' and destabilizing US influence across the globe.

It's 2019, and US solders are still in Iraq. Image via Getty/NYT

The poll itself claimed the changing numbers were "predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia."

"There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion ," DoD spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason was cited in the VOA report as saying. Ah yes, a few Kremlin-sponsored Facebook posts and Trump's expressed desire for better relations with Putin, and suddenly the military too is 'pro-Putin'! apparently.

Perhaps the "doubt and confusion" comes via trillion dollar endless wars of regime change and pointless occupations which cost American lives? In other words, this is not a 'Russia problem' at all, but lies too close to home for Washington pundits and pollsters to admit.

* * *

Finally, we should ask, would US military members see in today's foreign policy adventurism anything remotely resembling John Quincy Adams' famous 1821 admonition?

" But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit..."

[Dec 08, 2019] Never argue with stupid people, if then want to join NATO

Well, spending 5% of GDP on military and lowering further the standard of living of population will definitely increase the security of the US MIC. Not so much the security of Ukraine.
Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7

Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor Karlan may affirm: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary. Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

[Dec 08, 2019] US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games

Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 98

As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games. Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

[Dec 08, 2019] I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders.

Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14

I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.

[Dec 08, 2019] Time back machine in action in the USA

Dec 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11

"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

[Dec 08, 2019] How much smarter and better educated Americans are

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

dearieme , says: December 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm GMT

how much smarter and better educated than Americans Russians are

I know; just compare Putin to Trump or Hillary and you can see the folly of the claim.

Patricus , says: December 5, 2019 at 6:55 pm GMT
@dearieme Russians are certainly brilliant. Their per capita GDP is about the same as Mexico or Turkey.
Anonymous [607] Disclaimer , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:39 pm GMT
@benion101

Saker and Martyanov are desperately trying to wake you morons from your narcissistic coma. Wanna stay asleep? Fine. Then reality will wake you up.

EoinW , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:12 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

If only Those Russians could play chess or compose classical music or write a few serious novels. Oh well, I guess you can't expect everything from people with no GDP.

[Dec 08, 2019] Why do we say "defense spending" when we mean "military spending"? America has no military to defend against.

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Frederick V. Reed , says: Website December 5, 2019 at 4:19 pm GMT

Why do we say "defense spending" when we mean "military spending"? America has no military to defend against.

[Dec 08, 2019] Aux Armes, Citoyens! The Americans Attack by Eric Margolis

I suppose the main threat is that Russia could claim the north pole, and hold Santa hostage.
Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Citizens of France. To arms! Man the ramparts. The American barbarians are coming. They shall not pass!

Le Trump's threat to France's splendid wines and Roquefort cheese are the gravest menace France has faced since the Germans invaded this fair land in 1914. Burgundy wines and France's 300 fromages form the very soul of la Belle France.

Trump does not know or care that France saved America from British mis-rule. He wants revenge because France – which taxes nearly everything – seeks to tax US IT firms like Google and Amazon. Trump considers this a personal affront. Besides, he dislikes wine and lives on desiccated burgers made with petrochemical cheese, washed down by acidic Diet Cokes.

On top of this outrage comes the squabble over NATO. Trump used to scoff at the Alliance, saying it was 'obsolete' as well as under-armed and short of money. The president and his backers really dislike France and all it stands for, including wine and cheese.

[Dec 07, 2019] To paraphrase Lennie Briscoe

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley , December 06, 2019 at 05:34 AM

To paraphrase Lennie Briscoe "You can get the House of Representatives to indict a ham sandwich."
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 06, 2019 at 05:36 AM
Of course that assumes that the ham sandwich is not a member of the House majority political party.

[Dec 07, 2019] Obama vs Bill Clinton

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 01, 2019 at 05:51 AM

Obama is Bill Clinton with fewer skeletons.

[Dec 07, 2019] Orange is the new black: Trump main crime is that he offends neoliberal sense of decorum.

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 04:10 AM

#resistance is a coup attempt. Make up offenses!

As my son observed, at least the deranged subversives are not mucking up the country with doing appropriations, USMCA.....

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 06:29 AM
What coup? There have been loads of offenses, mostly to the liberal sense of decorum and mildly to the republican notion of fair play. Orange is the new black.

[Dec 07, 2019] Russia is an Oligarchy. Putin is the richest man in the world

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> kurt... , December 07, 2019 at 12:45 AM

"Russia is an Oligarchy. Putin is the richest man in the world."

Russia is an oligarchy. Like the USA and all Western countries. Oligarchy is the "rule of the few", the rule of elite. We know that this is where any state (or mass party) lands due to the "Iron law of oligarchy". So what's new ?

FYI the USA is a neoliberal plutocracy, which is pretty bad, degraded form of oligarchy. And it is currently experiences its deep crisis as neoliberal ideology is dead, and economics entered the phase of a secular stagnation.

This created the situation in which neoliberal elite can't rule "as usual" and "deplorable" do not want to live "as usual".

Such a situation is called a Classic Marxism a "revolutionary situation" and there is something in this definition. That's why we got Trump. So he is just a sign of the deep crisis of the USA neoliberal plutocracy.

In any case this is adeep political crisis. In this sense "impeachment Kabuki theatre" is just a tip of the iceberg and manifests the same problem

Presence on the political stage of people with noticeable senility problem like Biden and increased age of politicians in general is yet another sign of the same (can probably be called "Soviet Politburo syndrome").


But only completely brainwashed by neoliberal propaganda person can claim the Putin is "the richest man in the world"

Putin is way too clever to get into such a trap, when a person became Western powers marionette (like corrupt Yanukovich became ) because they can pull the strings and confiscate the ill gotten wealth anytime. BTW it was Biden, who threatened Yanukovich that if he uses force against protesters, his Western banks stored wealth is gone. We know what happened next with the help of Victoria Nuland.

Like Kissinger aptly said, neoliberal oligarchs are always pro-Western oligarch, because they have nowhere to go to store their wealth.

That means that Putin is "the richest man in the world" level of thinking can be viewed as typical for a person with severe senility problem due to his/her age.

This statement actually does not even deserve a comment, because person with such level of mental degradation can't understand argument of the other side.

[Dec 06, 2019] US empire vs the freedom of choice...

Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Robjil , says: December 7, 2019 at 2:11 am GMT

@Bardon Kaldian BK

Czech and Slovakia divided into two nations in 1993. It was the people's choice.

East Germany wanted to join West Germany in 1989. It was the people's choice.

Crimea wanted to join Russia after fall of the Soviet Union. It was the people's choice just like the two above.

The only thing that makes it "different" it was not a people's choice that the rulers of Zion US empire likes.

[Dec 06, 2019] The CIA sees it differently

Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT

@sally

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

The CIA sees it differently; and they are part of the Deep State.

[Dec 06, 2019] Putin derangement syndrome in full display: As a Catholic, I resent you using the word 'hate' said full of hate Nanci. "All roads lead to Putin," she told reporters.

Hating Putin became fashionable in Washington, DC. The fact that Obama wrecked Ukraine is, of course, is swiped under the rug.
Dec 06, 2019 | www.msn.com

Exiting the news conference as she was addressed, Pelosi turned around, walked up to the journalist -- James Rosen of Sinclair Broadcast Group -- and proceeded to wag her finger with scorn.

"As a Catholic, I resent you using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me," she said. "Don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."

To Republicans eager to paint Democrats as out-of-control partisans, the forceful rebuttal was a sign of the speaker losing her grip.

"It's caused them to lose sight of why they got the majority," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said of impeachment and Pelosi's outburst. "I think things are starting to unravel."

... ... ...

Indeed, Pelosi also has cast the constitutional clash in terms of defending an ally against Russia, calling the concerns raised by the whistleblower complaint the "aha moment" and repeating a phrase that she used in challenging Trump face-to-face at the White House in October.

"All roads lead to Putin," she told reporters.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former CIA officer who was among the "national security freshmen" who pushed Pelosi toward supporting an impeachment inquiry, praised her handling of the process. From the beginning, she said, she asked Pelosi to ensure that the investigation was done in a strategic, efficient and serious manner, and she said Pelosi has followed through.

[Dec 06, 2019] St. Nancy the hypocrite: the miles distance between words and deeds for this Catholic

Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

St. Nancy the hypocrite a reporter asked Pelosi yesterday if she acts from hatred of Trump. She responded that having been raised as a Catholic she does not hate anyone because we are taught to hate the sin and love the sinner. Well, pilgrims, Catholics are expected to practice their religion through both faith and deeds and to accept the teaching of the Church...

[Dec 06, 2019] Kabuki theater in Washington, CD. Act 2: Pelosi and Trump Derangement Syndrome

Her statement are a little it too much. Even for a Catholic. BTW is she child molester?
Dec 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Civilization as we know it today is at stake in the next election, and certainly, our planet," said Pelosi.

"The damage that this administration has done to America, America's a great country. We can sustain. Two terms, I don't know," she added.


Ledlak , 20 seconds ago link

First, Trump was going to destroy democracy. That didn't persuade voters. Now it's he'll destroy civilization itself...and the planet. When that doesn't work where will they go next? He'll destroy to Solar System? The Universe? How do such people get into power in the first place? Oh yeah, San Francisco.

Free range bear , 55 seconds ago link

Translation: The Pelosi Crime Family will be out of business if DJT is re elected. The days of foreign aid kickbacks and influence peddling will come to an end. Who does this ******* Trump think he is putting country before personal gain.

BlueLightning , 2 minutes ago link

How old is this wax figure? WTF

Blackhawks , 7 minutes ago link

Bread and circus. The swamp is full and Clinton is not in jail. The southern border is wide open. We're sending more troops to the Middle East. The status quo is completely intact. If it weren't for the hysterics you'd think Obama was still president. The only thing that's changed is Trump's wife doesn't have a ****.

[Dec 06, 2019] Fighting Russians of Florida beaches

Dec 06, 2019 | twitter.com

Aaron Maté ‏ 3:47 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Thanks to Pamela Karlan for so aptly capturing Democratic elites' delusional, Reaganite, jingoistic Cold Warrior mindset in your claim that we need to arm Ukraine "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here" & we remain "that shining city on the hill."

[Dec 06, 2019] Western nations have survived tyranny, despots, and brutal civil wars. It is not at all clear whether the nations of the West will survive your beloved democracy.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Seoulite Max Rockatansky 6 hours ago ,

Democracies are earned not given, that lesson cost us trillions and in blood!

Yes please give us more democracy, so the uniparty can sell our jobs to global capital and our children's future to foreigners. Nations have survived tyranny, despots, and brutal civil wars. It is not at all clear whether the nations of the West will survive your beloved democracy.

[Dec 06, 2019] No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I think Warren is running for treasury secretary in a Biden administration. The theory being that that will be her reward for stopping Sanders. Everybody has an angle. Except Bernie. Can someone show me his angle?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Warren may be many things, but she despises Biden. She has enough self respect to never work for the turd.

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Three things:

-one, 2016 what ifs.

-two, how does Warren look in the light of Sanders and a few newer types like AOC or Omar? If there is no Sanders, she is the nominal left, a former Republican which shows how right wing Team Blue is. Zebras don't change their stripes, but I think what is and isn't acceptable does change. The three I mentioned moved the perceptions of enough people who otherwise would support Warren. Warren is a day late and a dollar short in 2019. Okay, she's $0.02, but she is still short of where she would need to be to take her advantages over Sanders to next level.

-Misinterpreting popularity. One of the more detailed ratings of Warren a few years indicated she wasn't wildly popular in Taxachusetts, but she was very popular with a narrow subset of women around the country. In a sense, she is trying to grow from this group instead of understanding a big tent is the only way forward if you aren't an effective incumbent or VP. Its similar to Clinton's 90's worship of "soccer moms" (surburban white women), basically the only group that outpaced or met expectations in support for Bill and company. Instead of recognizing problems with the generic Democratic coalition, they worked to make their friends really like them.

-not recognizing, the importance of sitting out in 2016. She didn't win friends. She relied on msm punditry instead of recognizing politicians and elections are about pushing, not waiting for David Brooks to weigh in. She failed a basic leadership test because she was afraid of offending Hillary Clinton who was going to collapse over the finish line and then have been on the defense before she was even inaugurated.

[Dec 06, 2019] Clinton apparently has super-special powers for sniffing out Russian mischief-makers that mere mortals like us cannot comprehend.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 11:19 pm

Here is a clip from the Hillary interview with Howard Stern courtesy of Secular Talk

https://invidio.us/watch?v=QjK8Ghxi5Zk

Clinton apparently has super-special powers for sniffing out Russian mischief-makers that mere mortals like us cannot comprehend.

Also, she says that she refuses to go away because "that is what her adversaries want". I knew that Hillary was a narcissist, but this takes being a sore loser to a whole other level. Somebody like this as president would be just as bad as Trump, and Hillary would have the entire DNC leadership apparatus to carry out her royal decrees.

sierra7 , December 6, 2019 at 12:29 am

HC contemplating running in 2020 is like Gorganzola cheese way past pull date!

[Dec 06, 2019] Ever wonder why google changed its name to "alphabet"... suspicious minds want to know

Dec 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

4 wheel drift , 3 hours ago link

Federal authorities have indicted two Russian cybercriminals who allegedly lead a shadowy organization called "Evil Corp" that has stolen more than $100 million using a powerful malware that has spread to more than 40 countries.

now... how come the FBI, (NOT to mention, CIA, and the rest of the alphabet soup agencies) are not spending their efforts and monies to pursue this ENRON, (LOGO LOOK-A-LIKE) company, instead of initiating an illegal coup d'etat against the president of USA?

-----

Members of Evil Corp are living a lavish lifestyle, funded by the life savings of their victims.

If Maksim Yakubets, who used the online identity of 'Aqua', ever leaves the safety of Russia he will be arrested and extradited to the US.

Well duh.... lol !

Why would he....????

Wouldn't it make sense to make a deal with... "lord Putin" to cease this shield of protection ?.... hmmm I wonder why...

Ask some Biden guy...

Oh wait... the US Gov. and alphabet agencies are supposed to be doing so, yes ?

Hmm ever wonder why google changed its name to "alphabet"... suspicious minds want to know ... -lol

Dickweed Wang , 4 hours ago link

Next time on the Twilight Zone:

'Russian hacker by the name of Boris Beatinoff steals millions from **** producers and gets life plus 20 years.'

'The US Department of Defense and HUD steal 13+ trillion dollars of federal funding over the last 15 years and it is not reported or prosecuted.'

[Dec 06, 2019] It's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Marshal 9 hours ago ,

it's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies.

Is this a reference to the Obama Administration investigating the Trump Campaign at the behest of the Clinton Campaign?

[Dec 06, 2019] "The Kamaleon": Fixing Biden quote about Senator Harris

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

a different chris , December 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm

>Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be

Senator Harris has the capacity to appear to be anything she wants to appear to be.

Fixed it for them.

chuckster , December 5, 2019 at 5:21 pm

Yeah, that's the ticket – Biden/Harris 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What would their slogan be? "Just wanted to prove to you that Clinton/Kaine wasn't the worst ticket we could come up with"

The Rev Kev , December 5, 2019 at 6:03 pm

'Senator Harris has the capacity to appear to be anything she wants to appear to be.'

There is a word for that. It is a chameleon so yeah, Kamala Chameleon works. But Biden picking her as a running mate would be the same as back in 2008 when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as a running mate which went down like a lead balloon.

Brett , December 5, 2019 at 7:31 pm

I can hear the stage entrance song now.. Kama Kama Kama Chameleon. Boy George can open for their rallies to appeal to the IdentiPol crowd.

[Dec 06, 2019] BBC and logic

Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

SOFTWARE. A law has passed requiring electronic gadgets to have Russia software in them. The BBC idiotically says : "Others have raised concerns that the Russian-made software could be used to spy on users". "Idiotically" because one of the reasons for the law is that US-made software is spying on users .

[Dec 04, 2019] Overweight Trump thinks that poor people eat too much

Dec 04, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 5:44pm

After slashing taxes on the ruling elites by $1.5 Trillion , The Donald has decided that poor people need to skip some meals "to restore their dignity" and "be respectful of the taxpayers".

[Dec 04, 2019] The attorney handpicked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference has reportedly found no evidence to support claims from conservatives that the case was a setup by U.S. intelligence officials

Now it looks like Lavreniy Beria was a law abiding, forward looking legal scholar, and his quip "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime" was just an well founded legal opinion. And the term "entrupment" in this case lost all its meaning.
Dec 04, 2019 | thehill.com

The attorney handpicked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference has reportedly found no evidence to support claims from conservatives that the case was a setup by U.S. intelligence officials.

Sources told The Washington Post that John Durham , the U.S. attorney chosen by Barr to lead an investigation, told the Justice Department's inspector general (IG), who conducted his own probe, that he has found no evidence to support claims that a Maltese professor who spoke with former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was secretly a U.S. intelligence asset.

Allies of the president have claimed for months that the professor, Josef Mifsud, who spoke with Papadopoulos about the possibility of obtaining Hillary Clinton stolen emails, was actually an asset of U.S. intelligence agencies seeking to set up the Trump campaign on criminal charges.

[Dec 04, 2019] This four-minute video of British folks reacting to US health care prices is delightful

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Conrad , December 3, 2019 at 7:10 pm

This four-minute video of British folks reacting to US health care prices is delightful. https://twitter.com/PoliticsJOE_UK/status/1201826927520161792
I see Bernie retweeted it as well.

[Dec 04, 2019] Which one attended on the FBI payroll?

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DonCoyote , December 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm

Political trivia:

According to John Nichols of The Nation , what two sitting U.S. senators attended MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech in 1963?

(Answer in the reply)

DonCoyote , December 3, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Bernie Sanders & Mitch McConnell.

cuibono , December 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm

which one attended on the FBI payroll?

[Dec 04, 2019] A wish ;-)

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm

I have seen other versions of that same story with other characters. For example, several decades ago, Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute illustrated "revenge culture" with the story of the Greek and the Turk.

God HimSelf appeared to the Greek Peasant hoping to teach the Greek Peasant something about charity and kindness to others. So God said to the Greek Peasant . . . " I will grant you one wish, any wish at all. And whatever you wish for, I will give your Turkish neighbor twice as much of it."

So Greek Peasant says: "Put out one of my eyes."

[Dec 04, 2019] Europian are lauching at Trump but simulatiouly are paying more for NATO. Looks like Trump has the last laugh

Notable quotes:
"... It's likely that Trudeau is referring to his joint press conference with President Trump, where the president veered wildly off-topic and answered questions about the burgeoning impeachment inquiry while lashing out at his democratic rivals. ..."
"... The draft showed that leaders made "burden sharing" - Trump's top priority re: Nato - the centerpiece of the communique. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The world leaders were joined by Princess Anne, the Queen's daughter, who naturally was invited to the Buckingham Palace reception where the footage was taken. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also appears to be in the scrum. At one point, Rutte can be heard laughing while saying "fake news media".

Though Trump's name isn't heard spoken, the subject of their gossipy little pow-wow is pretty clear. At one point, Trudeau can be heard telling his pals about how a certain leader's team members' jaws dropped when he launched into a rambling tangent during a press conference.

A loosened up Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, seen sipping from a glass of beer, could barely contain himself, gesturing wildly and shouting "You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor!"

It's likely that Trudeau is referring to his joint press conference with President Trump, where the president veered wildly off-topic and answered questions about the burgeoning impeachment inquiry while lashing out at his democratic rivals.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, leaders wrapped up the two-day summit with a draft communique that made on thing clear: The rest of Nato wants to keep Trump happy, and is much more concerned about what Trump wants than what the president of France wants right now, BBG reports.

The draft showed that leaders made "burden sharing" - Trump's top priority re: Nato - the centerpiece of the communique.


NIRP Diggler , 2 minutes ago link

Well, Trump is a joke for sure. But, for these three arrogant, pompous aholes to be laughing at anybody, is itself laughable.

The EveryThing Bubble , 2 minutes ago link

Season 3 episode 287 of the hit reality series "Somehow I Became US President".

ibeanbanned , 7 minutes ago link

He who laughs last laughs best.

Spiritual Anunnaki , 8 minutes ago link

Political leaders like those above have no loyalty to the Counties they were elected to.

They all tow the Globalist line that is negligent, if not out right destructive to their domestic responsibilities.

AI Agent , 11 minutes ago link

Just get out of NATO. Europe is in no danger of Russia and should be more than able to defend itself.

[Dec 04, 2019] The Anti-Trust Election

This is from 2016 election cycle but still relevant. Money quote: "Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. "
Despicable neoliberal MSM do not like to discuss real issue that facing people in 220 elections. They like to discuss personalities. Propagandists of Vichy left like Madcow spend hours discussing Ukrainegate instead of real issues facing the nation.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue. ..."
"... If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome. ..."
"... Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose. ..."
"... "Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog). ..."
"... But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it? ..."
"... Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either. ..."
"... They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake. ..."
"... Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. ..."
Oct 08, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Economist's View
I have a new column:

The Anti-Trust Election of 2016 :

... ... ...

Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue.

We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government and the magic of markets to justify ignoring the problem.

If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome.

JohnH : October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM , October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM
"We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government" which has been amply demonstrated during the last 7 years by negligible enforcement of anti-trust laws.

Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose.

Vote third party to register your disgust and to open the process to people who don't just represent the predator class.

supersaurus -> JohnH... October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM , October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM
"Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog).
JohnH -> JohnH... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 04:32 PM
Thomas Frank: "I was pleased to learn, for example, that this year's Democratic platform includes strong language on antitrust enforcement, and that Hillary Clinton has hinted she intends to take the matter up as president. Hooray! Taking on too-powerful corporations would be healthy, I thought when I first learned that, and also enormously popular. But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it?"
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/07/some-clintons-pledges-sound-great-until-you-remember-whos-president

One party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them...a distinction without a difference.

Who do you prefer to have guarding the chicken house...a fox or a coyote? Sane people would say, 'neither.'

Peter K. -> DrDick... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 01:13 PM
Yes and Clinton supporters attacked Sanders over this during the primaries.

Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either.

http://jwmason.org/slackwire/links-for-october-6/

"At Vox,* Rachelle Sampson has a piece on corporate short-termism. Supports my sense that this is an area where there may be space to move left in a Clinton administration."

* http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/3/13141852/short-term-capitalism-clinton-economics

Henry Carey's ghost : , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 09:35 PM
Economists have said for thirty years that free trade will benefit the US. Increasingly the country looks like a poor non-industrialized third world country. Why should anyone trust US economists?

They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake.

Trust in experts is what has transformed the US from a world leader in 1969 with the moon landing to a country with no high speed rail, no modern infrastructure, incapable of producing a computer or ipad or ship.

Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse.

>

[Dec 04, 2019] A new way to indict a ham sandwich, courtesy to intelligence community Inspector General

Dec 04, 2019 | theconservativetreehouse.com

sedge2z , September 28, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Somebody over at The_Donald on reddit copied the new Whistle Blower Complaint Form. They checked the new box saying they heard it from someone else.
In the space to explain their source, they wrote "SETH RICH"

[Dec 04, 2019] Putin sees himself as the CEO of Russia and as an heir to the early 20th Century Russian reformer Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin

Dec 04, 2019 | www.amazon.com

David Shulman , July 4, 2019

Putin: The New Tsar

...Simply put, Trump is short-term and transactional while Putin is long-term and strategic.

The authors trace Putin's life from growing up in the deprivation of postwar Leningrad to his rise to power in Moscow via his work as a KGB operative in East Germany. Putin comes into his own working for Anatoly Sobchak, a reform minded mayor of now Saint Petersburg in the early 1990s. From there he goes to Moscow where he has a ringside seat into the disintegration of the Yeltsin government and the economic failure of post-Soviet Russia. In succeeding Yeltsin Putin's mandate is to restore order and to restore the economy.

Putin sees himself as the CEO of Russia and as an heir to the early 20th Century Russian reformer Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin. What they have in common is that they both viewed themselves as modernizers within the context of authoritarian capitalism. Although Putin may view himself as a free marketer...

Above all else Putin is a statist. Everything has to be done in service of the state. He is critical of the Bolsheviks in that they betrayed the Russian state by fomenting revolution while its soldiers were dying in World War I. As an heir to the Tsars Putin sees Russia as a bulwark against western liberalism and he has allied himself with the Russian Orthodox Church against the perceived licentiousness of the West.

In thinking strategically Putin first had to put Russia's fiscal house in order. In doing that he was aided by one of his Leningrad buddies, Alexie Kudrin who served as his finance minister. Widely respected in the West, Kudrin paid off Russia's foreign debt and thereby removed a major leverage point the West had over Russia. ...

[Dec 03, 2019] China No Longer Needs US Parts In Its Phones

Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Palmetto Cynic , 43 minutes ago link

Trade wars are good...

...and easy to win!

[Dec 03, 2019] Something about Bellingcat credibility

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games , which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.
...
Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.

[Dec 03, 2019] Nothing goes together better than impeachment and Christmas

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Richard FL 34m ago

Ah, yes, nothing goes together better than impeachment and Christmas. I can just hear Nadler and Schiff singing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year," during the hearings.

[Dec 02, 2019] The Fake Myth of American Meritocracy by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for. ..."
"... When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it. ..."
"... The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy: ..."
Mar 15, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The college bribery scandal reveals an ugly truth: our society is unjust, dominated by a small elite. Actress Lori Loughlin, who has been implicated in the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock The most destructive and pervasive myth in America today is that we live in a meritocracy. Our elites, so the myth goes, earned their places at Yale and Harvard, on Wall Street and in Washington -- not because of the accident of their birth, but because they are better, stronger, and smarter than the rest of us. Therefore, they think, they've "earned" their places in the halls of power and "deserve" to lead.

The fervor with which so many believe this enables elites to lord over those worse off than they are. On we slumber, believing that we live in a country that values justice, instead of working towards a more equitable and authentically meritocratic society.

Take the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. On Tuesday, the FBI and federal prosecutors announced that 50 people had been charged in, as Sports Illustrated put it , "a nationwide college admissions scheme that used bribes to help potential students cheat on college entrance exams or to pose as potential athletic recruits to get admitted to high-profile universities." Thirty-three parents, nine collegiate coaches, two SAT/ACT exam administrators, an exam proctor, and a college athletics administrator were among those charged. The man who allegedly ran the scheme, William Rick Singer, pled guilty to four charges of racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice.

As part of the scam, parents would "donate" money to a fake charity run by Singer. The funds would then be laundered to either pay off an SAT or ACT administrator to take the exams or bribe an employee in college athletics to name the rich, non-athlete children as recruits. Virtually every scenario relied on multiple layers of corruption, all of which eventually allowed wealthy students to masquerade as "deserving" of the merit-based college slots they paid up to half a million dollars to "qualify" for.

Cheating. Bribery. Lying. The wealthy and privileged buying what was reserved for the deserving. It's all there on vivid display. Modern American society has become increasingly and banally corrupt , both in the ways in which "justice" is meted out and in who is allowed to access elite education and the power that comes with it.

The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes. We pretend to be better than Russia and other oligarchies, but we too are dominated by a rich and powerful elite.

The average American citizen has very little power, as a 2014 study by Princeton University found. The research reviewed 1,779 public policy questions asked between 1981 and 2002 and the responses by different income levels and interest groups; then calculated the likelihood that certain policies would be adopted.

What they found came as no surprise: How to Fix College Admissions

A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favor) is adopted only about 18 percent of the time, while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favor) is adopted about 45% of the time.

That's in stark contrast with policies favored by average Americans:

When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

The conclusion of the study? We live in an oligarchy:

our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. [T]he preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

The belief in the myth of merit hurts the smart kid with great grades who aced his SATs but was still rejected from Yale and Harvard. It hurts talented athletes who have worked their tails off for so many years. It hurts parents who have committed hundreds of school nights and weekends to their children. It hurts HR departments that believe degrees from Ivy League schools mean that graduates are qualified. It hurts all of us who buy into the great myth that America is a democratic meritocracy and that we can achieve whatever we want if only we're willing to expend blood, toil, sweat, and tears.

At least in an outright class system like the British Houses of Lords and Commons, there is not this farcical playacting of equal opportunity. The elites, with their privilege and titles, know the reason they are there and feel some sense of obligation to those less well off than they are. At the very least, they do not engage in the ritual pretense of "deserving" what they "earned" -- quite unlike those who descend on Washington, D.C. believing that they really are better than their compatriots in flyover country.

All societies engage in myth-making about themselves. But the myth of meritocracy may be our most pervasive and destructive belief -- and it mirrors the myth that anything like "justice" is served up in our courts.

Remember the Dupont heir who received no prison time after being convicted for raping his three-year-old daughter because the judge ruled that six-foot-four Robert Richards "wouldn't fare well in prison"? Or the more recent case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who had connections to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and faced a 53-page federal indictment for sex-trafficking over two dozens underage girls ? He received instead a sweetheart deal that concealed the extent of his crimes. Rather than the federal life imprisonment term he was facing, Epstein is currently on house arrest after receiving only 13 months in county jail. The lead prosecutor in that case had previously been reprimanded by a federal judge in another underage sex crimes case for concealing victim information, the Miami Herald reports .

While the rich are able to escape consequences for even the most horrific of crimes , the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Approximately 7 million people were under some form of correctional control by the end of 2011, including 2.2 million who were detained in federal, state, and local prisons and jails. One in every 10 black men in his thirties is in prison or jail, and one out of three black men born in 2001 can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes.

While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed . There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them.

Despite all this evidence, most Americans embrace a version of the Calvinist beliefs promulgated by their forebears, believing that the elect deserve their status. We remain confident that when our children apply to college or are questioned by police , they will receive just and fair outcomes. If our neighbors' and friends' kids do not, then we assure ourselves that it is they who are at fault, not the system.

The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action.

Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner . Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

The GOP's Laughable Call for a Balanced Budget Amendment Congress's "One Spending Bill to Rule Them All" is a Debt-Fueled Disgrace Hide 11 comments 11 Responses to The Myth of American Meritocracy

Collin March 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm

If conservatives are going to dance the graves of Aunt Beckie, the backlash is going to be big. Sure this is a 'scandal' but it seems these parents weren't rich enough to bribe their kids in college the right way, like Trumps and Kushner, and probably slightly duped into going along with this scheme. (It appears the government got the ring leader to call all defendants to get evidence they participated in a crime.)

Just wait until the mug shot of Aunt Beckie is on the internet and Olivia Jade does 60 minutes doing teary eyed interview of how much she loves her mother. And how many parents are stress that their kids will struggle in the global competitive economy.

Fran Macadam , , March 15, 2019 at 1:52 pm
I fully recall the days of getting government computing contracts. Once a certain threshold was reached, you discovered you had to hire a "lobbyist," and give him a significant amount of money to dole out to various gatekeepers in the bureaucracy for your contracts to be approved. That was the end of our government contracts, and the end was hastened by the reaction to trying to complain about it.
prodigalson , , March 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm
Great article, well done. More of this please TAC.
Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Thank you, Barbara Boland, for "The Myth of American Meritocracy" and for linking ("Related Articles" box) to the 2012 "The Myth of American Meritocracy" by Ron Unz, then publisher of the American Conservative.

The 26,000-word Ron Unz research masterpiece was the opening salvo in the nation-wide discussion that ultimately led to the federal court case nearing resolution in Boston.

"The Myth of American Meritocracy -- How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?" by Ron Unz, The American Conservative, Nov 28, 2012:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

Kurt Gayle , , March 15, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Barbara Boland "While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed."

Ms. Boland: According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans [13 per cent of the population] accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008.

JeffK , , March 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm
I agree with prodigalson. This is the type of article that TAC should uphold as a 'gold standard'. One reason I read, and comment on, TAC is that it offers thought provoking, and sometimes contrarian, articles (although the constant harping on transgender BS gets annoying).

America has always been somewhat corrupt. But, to borrow a phrase, wealth corrupts, and uber wealth corrupts absolutely.

As Warren Buffet says "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning".

I have said it before, and I will say it again. During the next severe financial recession, if the rich are protected and coddled and everybody else is left to fend for themselves the ARs will come out of the closets when the sheriff comes to take the house or the pickup truck. My sense is that average Americans have had enough.

Imagine if the digital transfer of money was abolished. Imagine if everybody had to have their money in a local bank instead of on an account in one of the major banks. Imagine if Americans saw, day after day, armored vehicles showing up at local banks to offload sacks of currency that went to only a few individual accounts.

Instead, the elites get their financial statements showing an ever increasing pile of cash at their disposal. They see it, but nobody else does. But, if everybody physically saw the river of wealth flowing to the elites, I believe things would change. Fast. Right now this transfer of wealth is all digital, hidden from the view of 99.99% of Americans. And the elites, the banking industry, and the wealth management cabal prefer it that way.

Mike N in MA , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
You said it sister. Great article.

I am amazed by the media coverage of this scandal. Was anyone actually under the impression that college admissions were on the level before these Hollywood bozos were caught red handed?

BDavi52 , , March 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm
What total silliness!

No, the meritocracy is not dead; it's not even dying. It is, in fact, alive and well and the absolute best alternative to any other method used to separate wheat from chaff, cream from milk, diamonds from rust.

What else is there that is even half as good?

Are merit-based systems perfect? Heck, no. They've never been perfect; they will never be perfect. They are administered by people and people are flawed. Not just flawed in the way Singer, and Huffman are flawed (and those individuals are not simply flawed, they're corrupt) but flawed in the everyday kind of sense. Yes, we all have tendencies, biases, preferences that will -- inevitably -- leak into our selection process, no matter how objectively strict the process may be structured, no matter how rigorously fair we try to be.

So the fact that -- as with most things -- we can find a trace of corruption here that fact is meaningless. We can find evidence of human corruption, venality, greed, sloth, lust, envy (all of the 7 Deadly Sins) pretty much everywhere. But if we look at the 20M students enrolled in college, the vast majority are successfully & fairly admitted through merit-based filtering systems (which are more or less rigorous) which have been in place forever.

Ms. Boland tells us (with a straight face, no less) that "The U.S. is now a country where corruption is rampant and money buys both access and outcomes." But what does that even mean?

Certainly money can buy access and certainly money can buy outcomes. But that's what money does. She might as well assert that money can buy goods and services, and lions and tigers and bears -- oh my! Of course it can. Equally networks can 'buy' access and outcomes (if my best friend is working as the manager for Adele, I'm betting he could probably arrange my meeting Adele). Equally success & fame can buy access and outcomes. I'm betting Adele can probably arrange a meeting with Gwen Stefani .and both can arrange a meeting with Tom Brady. So what? Does the fact that money can be used to purchase goods & services mean money or the use of money is corrupt or morally degenerate? No, of course not. In truth, we all leverage what we have (whatever that may be) to get what we want. That's how life works. But the fact that we all do that does not mean we are all corrupt.

But yes, corruption does exist and can usually be found, in trace amounts -- as I said -- pretty much everywhere.

So is it rampant? Can I buy my way into the NBA or the NFL? If I go to Clark Hunt and give him $20M and tell him I want to play QB for the Chiefs, will he let me? Can I buy my way into the CEO's position at General Electric, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Sprint, Verizon, General Motors, Toyota or any of the Fortune 500? Heck, can I even buy my way into the Governor's mansion? To become the Mayor of Chicago? Or the Police Commissioner? No -- these things are not possible. But what I can buy is my presence on the media stage.

What happens after cannot be purchased.

So no, by any measure, corruption is not rampant. And though many things are, in fact, for sale -- not everything is. And no matter how much money I give anyone, I'm never gonna QB the Chiefs or play for the Lakers.

She tells us, "we are dominated by a rich and powerful elite." No, we're not. Most of us live our lives making the choices we want to make, given the means that each of us has, without any interference from any so-called "elite". The "elite" didn't tell me where to go to school, or where to get a job, or how to do my job, or when to have kids, or what loaf of bread to buy, or what brand of beer tastes best, or where to go on the family vacation. No one did. The elite obviously did not tell us who to vote for in the last presidential election.

Of course one of the problems with the "it's the fault of the elite" is the weight given institutions by people like Ms.Boland. "Oh, lordy, the Elite used their dominating power to get a brainless twit of a daughter into USC". Now if my kid were cheated out of a position at USC because the Twit got in, I'd be upset but beyond that who really cares if a Twit gets an undergraduate degree from USC or Yale .or Harvard .or wherever. Some of the brightest people I've known earned their degrees at Easter PolyTechnic U (some don't even have college degrees -- oh, the horror!); some of the stupidest have Ivy League credentials. So what?

Only if you care about the exclusivity of such a relatively meaningless thing as a degree from USC, does gaming the exclusivity matter.

She ends with the exhortation: "The result has been a gaping chasm through our society. Lives are destroyed because, rather than working for real merit-based systems and justice, we worship at the altar of false promises offered by our institutions. Instead we should be rolling up our sleeves and seeing Operation Varsity Blues for what it is: a call to action."

To do what, exactly?

Toss the baby and the bathwater? Substitute lottery selection for merit? Flip a coin? What?
Again the very best method is and always will be merit-based. That is the incentive which drives all of us: the hope that if we work hard enough and do well enough, that we will succeed. Anything else is just a lie.

Yes, we can root out this piece of corruption. Yes, we can build better and more rigorously fair systems. But in the end, merit is the only game in town. Far better to roll-up our sleeves and simply buckle down, Winsocki. There isn't anything better.

Sid Finster , , March 15, 2019 at 2:52 pm
Gee, and people wonder why the rubes think that the system is gamed, why the dogs no longer want to eat the dog food.
Jim Jatras , , March 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm
"While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they make up 42 percent of death row and 35 percent of those who are executed. There are big racial disparities in charging, sentencing, plea bargaining, and executions, Department of Justice reviews have concluded, and black and brown people are disproportionately found to be innocent after landing on death row. The poor and disadvantaged thereby become grist for a system that cares nothing for them."

So to what degree are these "disparities" "disproportionate" in light of actual criminal behavior? To be "proportionate," would we expect criminal behavior to correlate exactly to racial, ethnic, sex, and age demographics of society as a whole?

Put another way, if you are a victim of a violent crime in America, what are the odds your assailant is, say, an elderly, Asian female? Approximately zero.

Conversely, what are the odds your assailant is a young, black male? Rather high, and if you yourself are a young, black male, approaching 100 percent.

Pam , , March 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Mostly thumbs up to this article. But why you gotta pick on Calvinism at the end? Anyway, your understanding of Calvinism is entirely upside down. Calvinists believe they are elect by divine grace, and salvation is something given by God through Jesus, which means you can't earn it and you most assuredly don't deserve it. Calvinism also teaches that all people are made in the image of God and worthy of respect, regardless of class or status. There's no "version" of Calvinism that teaches what you claim.

[Dec 02, 2019] US No doubt That Villain-Of-The-Day Has Banned Weapons

Notable quotes:
"... "There can be no doubt in the international community's mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt ," Mattis told reporters. ..."
"... there's absolutely No Doubt that the Outlaw US Empire's mouthpieces are lying yet again. ..."
"... Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself: "Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..." ..."
"... The particular genius of our oppressors has been to erode the public's collective memory. With a dumbed-down educational system, a 24-hour propaganda, and an utterly vacuous popular culture, we are deprived of precisely that faculty on which following Burke's admonition depends. With our "post-literate" reliance on the Internet, it's a wonder any of us can remember what happened last week. ..."
"... If the Syrians used them, then clearly they have them. Did the Syrians use them? The US does not recognize that as a valid question. That is where Mattis goes astray. It is a valid question. We were fooled by false flag use before. There are signs it may have happened again. It is not clear enough to be sure, but it is not clear enough to be sure the other way either. ..."
"... That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~Aldous Huxley ..."
Apr 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

U.S.: 'No doubt' That Villain-Of-The-Day Has Banned Weapons

Mattis: ' No doubt ' Syrian regime has chemical weapons , April 21, 2017

"There can be no doubt in the international community's mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt ," Mattis told reporters.

Full text of Dick Cheney's speech , August 27, 2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors ...

"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

― Edmund Burke

karlof1 | Apr 21, 2017 1:46:09 PM | 1

And there's absolutely No Doubt that the Outlaw US Empire's mouthpieces are lying yet again. Makes me even more curious as to what Putin said to Tillerson, as both Putin's and Lavrov's remarks about the global situation are blunter and more accusatory than ever before. Given the info provided by Lavrov at the press conference following the meeting of their Foreign Ministers Astana, I must assume the SCO nations are on the same page regarding the entire International Situation. In June in Astana, the SCO Summit will admit India and Pakistan as full members and begin the process to enroll Iran. Here, again, is the link to that press release, http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2734712
WG | Apr 21, 2017 1:47:24 PM | 2
Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself: "Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..."
Harry | Apr 21, 2017 1:56:09 PM | 3
The particular genius of our oppressors has been to erode the public's collective memory. With a dumbed-down educational system, a 24-hour propaganda, and an utterly vacuous popular culture, we are deprived of precisely that faculty on which following Burke's admonition depends. With our "post-literate" reliance on the Internet, it's a wonder any of us can remember what happened last week.
Mark Thomason | Apr 21, 2017 1:58:45 PM | 4
If the Syrians used them, then clearly they have them. Did the Syrians use them? The US does not recognize that as a valid question. That is where Mattis goes astray. It is a valid question. We were fooled by false flag use before. There are signs it may have happened again. It is not clear enough to be sure, but it is not clear enough to be sure the other way either.

Therefore, Mattis is wrong to conclude anything either way. However, given the official position of the US, he can hardly say anything different in public.

We ought to be looking at this very closely, but we vetoed such a close look by the international body that would do it. That would put into question the missile strikes we launched based on assumptions.

karlof1 | Apr 21, 2017 2:09:35 PM | 5
Pepe Escobar evokes T.S. Eliot's Hollow Men in his latest enumeration of Russia & China's strategic relationship. Oh, and I forgot to mention in #1 that BRICS also stands with Russia regarding all events Syria and Ukraine; and despite many efforts to destabilize it, BRICS still stands in solidarity and continues its work to economically counter the Outlaw US Empire, which Pepe also reminds us about, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201704211052866086-washington-terrified-of-russia-china/

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 2:10:55 PM | 6
@2, WG

Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself:

"Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..."

Mattis' motivation is completely different.

Mina | Apr 21, 2017 2:11:30 PM | 7
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/265369/World/Region/Syria-evacuees-on-move-again-after-hour-delay.aspx
De Mistura admits that someone lured the children with some sweets
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/265361/World/Region/Iraqi-officials--hostages,-including-Qatari-royals.aspx
Does he admit it may have something to do with Qataris in iraq?

laserlurk | Apr 21, 2017 2:16:33 PM | 8
Why would insignificant village be intentionally "gassed by Assad" while he has an absolute upper hand on the field? - is the question nobody in the Western media asks, nor has an answer to it.

Bio-chem weapons would be last resort to use on the battlefield in a desperate situation - was an original thought of making and having them.

Me and probably all of us here have no doubt that it is just a false flag perpetrated, oversaturated and pathetically served to us to validate continuation to oust Assad for Saudi's concessions, oil and money. Pure con and a rather amateurish one.
As expected, no doubt. :)

chet380 | Apr 21, 2017 2:20:39 PM | 9
Which state is Iran's greatest enemy? - Israel .. Where was the statement made? .. Who are the greatest financial political contributors in America? Res Ipsa Loquitur.

ruralito | Apr 21, 2017 2:21:37 PM | 10
Their lies are pitched to induce psychosis.

Mike Maloney | Apr 21, 2017 2:21:38 PM | 11
The importance of Mattis's pronouncement, as well as some " tilling of the soil " in the prestige press, is that another false flag attack is coming. The Hillary-McCain directive to take out Syrian airfields is going to be implemented.

MadMax2 | Apr 21, 2017 2:27:09 PM | 12
@1 karlof1
Talking Lavrov, talking history... The comprehensive history lesson Lavrov delivers to Tillerson is worth watching a number of times. It is an absolute shut down, in Tillersons face...rolling straight off the tongue.
Tillerson: 'trust us, we are sure, beyond doubt, Assad has chemical weapons'
Lavrov: 'here have this 5 minute history lesson you cabbage. '

The Mattis/Cheney comparison reminds me of the statements of the Canadian & Australian Prime Ministers prior to the Iraq 2003.

Eugene | Apr 21, 2017 2:30:06 PM | 13
And then when Mattis is dumped, he'll do the same as Colin Powell did. Welcome to the show. Bring your own popcorn.

Marko | Apr 21, 2017 2:36:44 PM | 14
@10

"Their lies are pitched to induce psychosis."

Speaking for myself , I think it's working.

harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 2:38:55 PM | 15
SmoothieX12 Difference this time is Syria has Russian backing and the BRICS [almost half the population of the World].Russia knows Syria is the key to the Middle East, if Syria fell, Hezbollah could not resist the head choppers from the North and East and attacks from the aparthied state from the South. Iran would then be exposed and attacked financially and militarily. Of course its a huge gamble, will those nutcases in Washington take it? These are existential stakes for many states in the region.

Perimetr | Apr 21, 2017 2:46:14 PM | 16
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704211052869570-israel-warplanes-syria-army/
Israeli aviation launched a missile attack on Syrian army's positions in the province of Quneitra bordering Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, a Syrian military source told Sputnik.

wwinsti | Apr 21, 2017 3:05:38 PM | 17
@harrylaw #15

Assad's recent announcement about wanting to buy more Russian air defense systems comes close to addmiting that the Russians will not be defending Syrian airspace.

To paraphrase tRump:

...the submarines, even more powerful than the carriers...

So, all the assets are in place. We're starting to see the accusation swarm against Assad occur at a rate that's too fast to refute individual charges against the Syrian president.

Don't be surprised if the decapitation strikes against Syria and N.Korea happen simultaneously.


Mina | Apr 21, 2017 3:30:35 PM | 18
Macron gave a martial speech explaining that he would defend France from more terror and that would imply out of the borders...

dh | Apr 21, 2017 4:05:30 PM | 19
@18 This probably won't appear in the MSM so I'll post it here...

"Emmanuel Macron fears this as well. The 39-year-old presidential candidate – an unknown quantity here just two years ago– is campaigning for the Jewish vote, keenly aware of the threat. But when France goes to the polls on Sunday, its Jews will face a unique choice: To vote in the spirit of Jewish Americans, prioritizing principles of welfare and liberal democratic values, or in the Israeli posture, with security first in mind.

Macron is betting on the former, appealing to Jewish community values shared with the French Republic of liberty, equality and fraternity.

"He knows there is a real danger from a double extremism – from the far-Right with Marine Le Pen, and from the far-Left," said Gilles Taieb, a prominent member of the French Jewish community who joined Macron's En Marche! campaign in August. "He understands the specific needs of the Jewish community.""


http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Macron-fights-for-Frances-Jewish-vote-488269

Yul | Apr 21, 2017 4:11:51 PM | 20
@ dh #19

He does not have to worry - he used to work for the Edmond de Rothschild Bank (Jewish family -closed ties to Israel)

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 4:15:37 PM | 21
@17

Assad's recent announcement about wanting to buy more Russian air defense systems comes close to addmiting that the Russians will not be defending Syrian airspace.

This is rather a confusing (in BBC's or NYT vein) statement, since Russia, through a number of her high ranking representatives openly stated that she will upgrade Syria's AD. Syria IS NOT going to buy them, since has very little precious money, but what Syria is doing already is letting a truck load of Russia's extracting and construction companies on her market. Google Translate will do the job (link is in Russian)

https://vz.ru/news/2017/4/21/867336.html

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 4:22:12 PM | 22
@15, Harrylaw

Iran would then be exposed and attacked financially and militarily.

I have a different opinion about this dynamics and I will not be surprised if Iran "suddenly" will become a full member of ODKB. At least for a little while.

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

wwinsti | Apr 21, 2017 4:28:15 PM | 23
@SmoothieX12

Fog of war warning and all, but Assad definitely mentioned price as a factor in getting New AD systems in a sputniknews interview.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704211052845528-russia-syria-assad-air-defense/

SmoothieX12 | Apr 21, 2017 4:49:15 PM | 24
@23

Fog of war warning and all, but Assad definitely mentioned price as a factor in getting New AD systems in a sputniknews interview.

Of course, mechanism of what in Russian is called vzaimoraschety (mutual "payments" or "coverage") is always established. The price of military technology may be compensated through other means, such as contractual preferences or any other privileges. I think Russia's oil companies will be quite happy and so will be weapons' manufacturers. Come to think about it--they already are.

harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 5:17:08 PM | 25
The question of Russian air defence missiles to Syria should not even be asked, Israel has nuclear weapons, the US don't care, the US supplies Israel with the latest OFFENSIVE weaponry and aircraft [f35, f16 ect]plus Iron Dome. It would be the height of folly for Russia not to give Syria the means to defend themselves.

harrylaw | Apr 21, 2017 5:31:08 PM | 26
I forgot nuclear capable submarines from Germany [with a discount thrown in].

Alaric | Apr 21, 2017 5:37:17 PM | 27
The Russians and Iranians need to end this already. The US clearly wants to try regime change again.

Information_Agent | Apr 21, 2017 5:38:24 PM | 28
Just as an FYI, I'm unable to access this site when I use a VPN server based in Canada, however VPN servers located elsewhere connect without issue. Anyone else experience this?

jfl | Apr 21, 2017 5:55:59 PM | 29
what's the sound of one mad dog jarhead barking? if it sounds off in the media echo-chamber, does it make a noise? it only echoes in the tnc msm. every american knows he's howling at the moon. it may well be that there's plenty of energy among those clipping coupons on american war bonds for more war, and no energy among those who fruitlessly opposed empire in the face of those same coupon-clippers.

its all-war, all-the-time with tee-rump just as it was with obama, bush, and clinton before him. people who are surprised at this are no more acute than those who might salute the flag the mad dogs have again run up the flag pole.

speaking of russia 'extracting' and 'constructing' in syria, the us of a is doing same in iraq : US approves nearly $300 million weapons deal to Kurdish Peshmerga . hi ho, you owe.

it would be exceptionally keen if all those cruise missiles unleashed on syria and/or north korea not only turned around, but struck their origin. wouldn't that be the end?

ben | Apr 21, 2017 5:56:34 PM | 30
The American public has to be the most ignorant and gullible group of ass-hats on the planet, if they fall for this BS being shoveled at them again. God-almighty this crap gets old!!!

All for the sake of global hegemony, and more wealth for the Trumps of the world.

peter | Apr 21, 2017 6:16:39 PM | 31
@12 madmax

First of all, I don't know how you can tell those speeches are the same though I heard them both mention WMDs. But here's the kicker, that's not the Canadian PM, not on that date, he was the Leader of the Opposition at that time. Harper became PM later.

Jean Chretien was the PM and he kept Canada out of Iraq. End of story.

likklemore | Apr 21, 2017 6:19:02 PM | 32
b cites Edmund Burke "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."

There is also this little ditty:

"If at first you don't succeed try and try and try again. Never stop trying."

It works very well for TPTB who hold the sheeples are too dumbed down and will never recall moving lips.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

@ Perimetr 16

Israel needs to take the other side of the Golan - that's where the oil bubbles bigly. Ask Genie HQ NJ and while at it check out their Board of Directors, Strategic Advisory Board.
Hint, it's the gang and No One dares to spank
[Alert: page may load slowly but a worthy wait].

So forget about it. The op word is Strategic

Israel can strike Syria with 10 MOABs per second 24hr/7 and lips will be festiviously sealed tighter than a crabs rear-end.

A long essay by Robert Kennedy Jr Feb 2016:


"[W]e may want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores," Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., intoned in an April editorial for Ecowatch

Peter AU | Apr 21, 2017 6:26:21 PM | 33
US Embassey Syria twitter acount is worth a read through. Reality has ceased to exist for the US admin.
https://twitter.com/USEmbassySyria

woogs | Apr 21, 2017 7:24:19 PM | 34
Also from Edmund Burke:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Not from Edmund Burke, but a favorite if mine:

The mightiest oak is just a little nut that wouldn't give up.

james | Apr 21, 2017 7:37:56 PM | 35
thanks b... waiting for the exceptional empire to collapse.. not holding my breathe here.. the same game is being played and the same folks are hoping for the same results.. they are already getting them when it comes to money thrown into war and prep for war.. they are winning regardless if they can convince everyone to go deeper..

@17 wwinsti.. could be a head fake... no one knows for sure other then assad and russia.. welcome to the world of endless speculation..


@28 ia... this canuck is not having any issues accessing moa.. who nose.. maybe trudeau and freeland have set up a firewall to protect us from a different perspective then the 'rah, rah, rah - war 24/7 we support twitter mans agenda'..

@34 woogs.. good quote on the bottom. thanks.

MadMax2 | Apr 21, 2017 8:06:30 PM | 36
@31 peter
Indeed you're correct re: Chretien - and fair play to him. Though, the transcripts are fairly damning, as is the resignation of the plagiarist:
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/harper-staffer-quits-over-plagiarized-2003-speech-on-iraq-1.756590

ALberto | Apr 21, 2017 8:19:17 PM | 37
When WWIII commences I wonder which side Switzerland will throw their lot in with?

iegee | Apr 21, 2017 9:23:52 PM | 38
The verdict on the chemical attack was swift and certain. When it comes to the recent bus bombing, somehow it is so different:
We are investigating, but I don't have any specific ... But we think it's exaggerated .
Inqury on Syria. Security Council Stakeout, 21 April, 2017

Those people have no shame. They are not going to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack. All the want is the flight plans from the Syrian government to finish their "work".

x | Apr 21, 2017 10:10:23 PM | 39
"No doubt" is not a statement about an objective reality out there (in country x); it is a statement about the subjective reality in the mind of the speaker (observer). A cunning ploy to speak a non-falsehood (about the mental conditioning of speaker and audience) that is merely opinion implying it is fact about a situation lacking empirical evidence.

Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 21, 2017 10:42:45 PM | 40
This hype is getting so tedious.
The WMD crap from The International (Christian Colonial) Community isn't about 'manufacturing consent'. It's about manufacturing CONSENSUS within the Christian Colonial Community itself. The Jew-controlled MSM takes care of the brainwashing. We already know that bribed politicians are paid to disregard the Will Of The People.

stumpy | Apr 21, 2017 11:24:26 PM | 41
@40, HW, the power of their glory...

Marko | Apr 22, 2017 12:14:53 AM | 42
@38

"Those people have no shame. They are not going to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack."

They're just plugging stuff into the dossier so that historians will be able to look back and see how reasonable and restrained the U.S. was before deciding to bomb the crap out of Assad and his country.

Here's how they can do that : They say " Look , we admit that proving guilt absolutely is next to impossible in these events , and that we may have been a bit hasty in bombing Syria's airfield before the investigation was done. We'll even concede the odds in Assad's favor , say 3:1 , or only a 25% chance he was guilty for any given sarin attack , even though we're pretty sure he's been the culprit. Just know this , when we're sure - let's set a higher standard here and say 90% certainty - when we're sure about his culpability for just one use of sarin , big or small , that's our red line, after that he gets the full Gaddafi , no questions asked. OK ? Understand ? "

Everyone nods , probably including some here. When there's any uncertainty , which there always is , he gives Assad the benefit of the doubt , and then requires a higher threshold to hold him accountable. You can't get more reasonable than that.

Well , maybe somewhat predictably , false-flag activity picks up - two sarin attacks per month over the following two months , always with the typical doubts about who dunnit. The U.S. keeps their word , with no significant escalation. With the next event , as soon as sarin is confirmed but well before we think we know who was guilty , the U.S. announces breach of the red line and launches a full-scale attack on Assad and his partners , demanding that he step down immediately or watch as his country is turned to rubble. Why ?

Counting the three sarin attacks to date , and the five more that follow , the probability that the rebels committed all eight attacks is .75^8 , or 10%. That means there's a 90% chance that Assad was responsible for at least one attack - i.e. , he crossed the red line.

That's why the false-flags will continue , and why a regime-change war with Syria is inevitable , and why the buy-in by the public when it happens will be nearly unanimous.

lysander | Apr 22, 2017 12:49:39 AM | 43
@ 17, wwinsti,

That could just as easily be interpreted as Russia planning to intervene while claiming that "Syrian" air defenses have shot down US aircraft/tomohawaks. I certainly don't know for sure that Russia has actually decided to take it to that level. Perhaps the Russians will never do that, or perhaps they themselves have not yet decided but want to keep that option open to them if later they do. At any rate, there is no advantage at all to reassuring the Americans that they will NOT intervene. It is best to keep Mattis and McMaster guessing just like we are.

I do not know to what degree US planners are confident of easily overcoming serious air defenses. They probably feel that if they defeat the S400s then US military dominance will remain unchallenged for a very long time. I'm not sure if they've gamed the opposite outcome. If "Syria" shoots down a few F22s or 35s the US is in deep trouble and any victory (to the extent bringing jihadists to power can be called a victory) would be a Pyrhic one.

V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 1:30:21 AM | 44
Well, fuck! Here we go again; U.S. is blitzing the international airways with propaganda and lies.
Zieg heil, zeig heil, herr Trump...
You bloody, rotten, bastard!

guy | Apr 22, 2017 1:54:30 AM | 45
Karlof1 and Harrylaw: talking about BRICS'support to Russia, never trust Brazil. After Lula and Rousseff,the right-wing president Michel Temer has transformed the country in just another latin american lackey of Trump...

james | Apr 22, 2017 3:12:32 AM | 46
@42 hey marko.. your writing style reminds me of paveways..

wwinsti | Apr 22, 2017 3:24:45 AM | 47
@ lydander #42:

Of course, there's no way to predict the outcomes of certain actions or read minds of any of the various actors involved with this sarin drama, but the events in Syria since Sept. 2015 or even Sept. 2001 do allow us to lean our interpretations a certain way, don't you think?

At the end of the day, an increasingly desperate USA has available 4 Ohio class submarines that carry just short of 200 cruise missiles each. They are, with some quibbling, decapitation weapon systems designed to overwhelm nearly any defense. I can't see the US not making use of such a capacity if they are as hell bent on regime change as they claim.

wwinsti | Apr 22, 2017 3:27:00 AM | 48
I meant lysander@ 43. Apologies.

Marko | Apr 22, 2017 3:37:48 AM | 49
@46

"your writing style reminds me of paveways"

James,

My writing style reminds you of a laser-guided bomb ? Really ? Cool.

I've always thought of it more like a barrel bomb full of cluster munitions , with a dash of incendiary and a few cow pies.

michaelj72 | Apr 22, 2017 3:39:37 AM | 50
"no doubt" and "no longer any doubt" always means to me that there's plenty of good reasons to doubt everything they say.

in fact, I consider it to be an indicator that they are lying about whatever they are saying. and they "no doubt" know it....


harrylaw | Apr 22, 2017 4:07:12 AM | 51
Because the strike on Syrian territory was against International law http://www.dw.com/en/us-missile-strike-on-syria-a-violation-of-international-law/a-38389950 Putin has to make up his mind, if the US strike Syria again or repeatedly without harming Russial personnel or assets and without a military response, Russia should sue for peace and get the hell out of Syria, thereby acknowledging that the US are the only Nation that can decide the fate of Nations with regard to International affairs. In other words the unanimous agreement of the 5 veto wielding members of the UNSC will no longer be applicable and article 2 of the UN Charter is null and void.

Article 2. [3] UN Charter All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

[4] All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Peter AU | Apr 22, 2017 4:25:43 AM | 52
51 "Russia should sue for peace and get the hell out of Syria"
??

col from oz | Apr 22, 2017 4:56:26 AM | 53
number 4

Are you the NEW York Times commentator. I really enjoy your comments their. I hardly drop by NYT however this week you were the only sane poster on North Korea. Your a jem keep it up. In fact I think cut and pasted you comment onto a Australian paper. Bravo.

lysander | Apr 22, 2017 5:19:47 AM | 54
@ 47 wwinsti,

Yes, the US has an enormous amount of cruise missiles. But judging by the damage done by the last 60 tomohawaks, it does not have enough to destroy Syrian air power with tomohawaks alone. In past invasions, they were used to destroy radars so that the subsequent air campaign can be conducted without contending with air defenses. They are not an end in and of themselves. In this case, that isn't possible unless the US plans on attacking Russian forces on both land and sea directly. The US is so far extremely reluctant to kill any Russian personnel and that is not likely to change. And this reluctance is not because of good sportsmanship.

Add to that, the Russians have shut down the deconfliction line. It means the US can't warn the Russians to get out of the way during the next attack. In other words, the Russians are prepared to be human shields to protect Syria. That does not scream "we are backing down" to me. There are also indications that US and allied sortie rates over Syria have dropped in number quite substantially since communication has been shut down.

While I agree the US is absolutely determined to destroy Syria, it is not at all clear that Russia plans to step aside while the US does it.

Pft | Apr 22, 2017 6:20:11 AM | 55
OT but LA, SF, NYC all experience power outages at the same and only RT makes the connection while MSM oblivious. Meanwhile exercises for an EMZ attack over a major US city ongoing. Strange

harrylaw | Apr 22, 2017 6:34:57 AM | 56
Peter AU @52. Sorry Peter I was being a little sarcastic. I think it has already been established that any US attack on Syria must be countered in the first instance by Syrian forces, since Russia was invited into Syria to help put down terrorism, it might not be in Russia's interest or anybody's [unless their forces are hit] to start WW3. Hence my point about arming Syria up the same way the US does with Israel and Saudi Arabia.All 5 veto wielding powers are of course above International law for all time, so that if the other members of the Security Council propose a Resolution condemning US aggression, the US simply uses its veto and that Resolution goes down the memory hole. Here is an excellent article on the veto.. http://www.david-morrison.org.uk/iraq/ags-legal-advice.pdf

Felicity | Apr 22, 2017 6:36:24 AM | 57

As you, remembering the last lies. Thank you for your peerless, ever spot on, shining pieces.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/legal-bombshell-former-iraqi-army-chief-of-staff-to-prosecute-tony-blair/5586196

ashley albanese | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:01 AM | 58
Lysander 54
The U S should keep in mind that the Russians did burn Moscow in 1812 .

Eric Zuesse | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:46 AM | 59
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it" does not appear in the complete 12-volume set of Works of Edmund Burke, and Bartlett's books of quotations have never included it, but the allegation nowadays is common that Burke said this, because many writers say things that are false. Anyone who trusts a mere allegation, like gossip, is not reliable and cannot be trusted in what that person alleges, because falsehoods mix in with truths for any such person. The person isn't necessarily fabricating, not necessarily intentionally falsifying; the person just doesn't care whether what he or she alleges to be true IS true. Any such person is untrustworthy to cite on anything.

Furthermore, that alleged Burke-quotation doesn't even sound like Burke's writing-style, which was a very distinctive style. So, anyone who has actually read Burke would suspect that this apocryphal statement from him was probably never said by him. Only pretentious people would allege that Burke said it -- people who pretend to have read Burke.

jfl | Apr 22, 2017 7:29:32 AM | 60
@54 lysander, 'In other words, the Russians are prepared to be human shields to protect Syria.'

i don't think that's the message sent or that it's indicative of the action to be taken in the event of another us attack on syria. as it stood pre-tee-rump-attack the us could call the russians and 'warn' them that the cruise missiles were theirs ... now they can no longer do that, and the russians have made a point of stating that an attacking aircraft/missile - and the originating vessel/station - are going to be shot down/taken down ... that the russians will not waste time in trying to figure out just whose attacking missiles/aircraft they are destroying.

i think it will be a cold day in hell before the russians 'sacrifice' themselves to make a point.

V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:38:51 AM | 61
Eric Zuesse | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:46 AM | 59
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it"

This from, of all places, Yahoo answers (blech); however it is referenced;
CITES: George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense 284 (2nd ed., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1924 (originally published 1905 Charles Scribner's Sons)(appears in chapter XII, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature")). George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress 82 (one-volume edition, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1954)(appears in Book I, Reason in Common Sense, chapter 10, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature").

This information was found at: http://members.aol.com/Santayana/gsguestbook.htm
``Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it,'' said Penton, echoing philosopher George Santayana's famous admonition.

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pilot/issues/1995/vp951119/11170741.htm

In any event, I agree with your admonition...

Addendum; cannot access references, so maybe more garbage.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:41:25 AM | 62

Addendum; cannot access references, so maybe more garbage.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:41:25 AM | 62

Anon1 | Apr 22, 2017 7:42:55 AM | 63
All this lies, fake news, psyop by US, NATO and MSM is possibly just because they rule the world. They refuse any other views, parties, nations questioning their wars and propaganda. Its quite scary when you think about it.
Like, is there ANYONE condemning this in the MSM nowadays? No one.
Every journalist (MSM) from Germany, to US, to Spain, to Portugal, to Columbia, to Sweden, to South Korea etc, all western MSM peddle this same propaganda for the american empire and their endless wars.

1984?

@ 60, I don't think sacrifice is the word I would use. The US understands that killing openly Russian soldiers soldiers (vs indirectly by arming terrorist proxies) would mean Russian retaliation. And therefore will not do it.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22, 2017 7:46:14 AM | 64

@ 60, I don't think sacrifice is the word I would use. The US understands that killing openly Russian soldiers soldiers (vs indirectly by arming terrorist proxies) would mean Russian retaliation. And therefore will not do it.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22, 2017 7:46:14 AM | 64

V. Arnold | Apr 22, 2017 7:48:07 AM | 65
...and then there is this;
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

I've got news for Mr. Santayana: we're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive."
― Kurt Vonnegut

john | Apr 22, 2017 7:50:16 AM | 66
Eric Zuesse

well, we're real impressed that you've memorized all 12 volumes of Edmund Burke, but for those of us who haven't, Google does credit him with this remark. a simple oversight, perhaps? so thanks for the lesson(even if you haven't cleared anything up), and the mini diatribe, teach, even though your scholarly footnotes have fuck all to do with b's intent.

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 7:56:57 AM | 67
"no doubt"
Did they get this from Bush's speech to congress in March, 2003?
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
Real intelligence left all kinds of doubt especially from the family members of Iraqi scientists who went into Iraq to ask. They risked their lives for this and were ignored.

"we assess" - recent prepeated mantra from USG declarations. I'm waiting for The Donald or his CIA minion to declare Syrian WMDs to be a "slam dunk." I think Cheney used to say "we have it on good authority." The rule for most politicians and media is if their lips move they're lying.

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 7:59:29 AM | 68
Perhaps after another coalition of the willing has destroyed Syria will the US president joke about searching for WMDs like Bush did. An insult to us all.

Formerly T-Bear | Apr 22, 2017 8:41:31 AM | 69
@ 59 and ff commentary

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations has the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" made by George Santayana (1863 - 1952) in The Life of Reason (1905) vol. 1, ch. 12

Oxford is fairly reliable sourcing for such questions, FWIW. As far as the western world and history another quote comes to mind from Dante Alighiere (1265-1321) that translates: Abandon all hope, you who enter! [with regard to history].

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 10:34:43 AM | 70
We need a Jon Stewart style montage of all these people saying "no doubt" followed by the group No Doubt saying it. (like he did with the GOP/FNC meme of "It's A Trap")

Curtis | Apr 22, 2017 10:36:27 AM | 71
"The mightiest oak is just a little nut that wouldn't give up."
woogs 34

I am Groot.

james | Apr 22, 2017 12:22:11 PM | 72
@49 marko.. - good stuff either way, lol..

Piotr Berman | Apr 22, 2017 12:22:18 PM | 73
"Counting the three sarin attacks to date , and the five more that follow , the probability that the rebels committed all eight attacks is .75^8 , or 10%. That means there's a 90% chance that Assad was responsible for at least one attack - i.e. , he crossed the red line."

I understand that this was presented as an incorrect reasoning, but perhaps not all readers here see the mistakes. First, probability is used to describe random events and not historical events. The post that you see here could be written by Piotr Berman, an identifiable individual, or by an impostor. In itself the claim that it was written by Piotr Berman is true or false, it does not have probability. However, from the point of view of a reader, it is but one of a large number of comments posted on internet so one can apply some guessed estimates, like "10% of comments signed with uniquely identifiable names are written by impostors". This of course begs the question how we arrive at such estimates etc. In short, the probability assigned to a single sarin attack is an exhalation from someones terminal end of the digestive system and quite hazardous if used.

However, even if we form an abstract model in which a chemical attack is randomly perpetrated by X with probability p and not by X with probability 1-p, and we have 8 attacks, the probability that X perpetrated at least one attack is anywhere between 0 and 1. The formula (1-p)^8 applies only if the events are independent. For example, if X possesses the means to perpetrate an attack with probability q, then the probability that it perpetrated any of many attacks is never larger than q.

That said, probabilities have their place in war strategy. If a false flag attack has a random effect on a key decision maker, that repeating it many times may increase the probability that a desired decision will be made. And Trump's and Obama's behavior has (and had) a degree of randomness.

james | Apr 22, 2017 12:33:58 PM | 74
@73 piotr.. that logic is insane of course..

Marko | Apr 22, 2017 1:54:22 PM | 75
@73

piotr,

You're correct about the technical probability considerations , of course , but I think the real-life effect of each new false-flag may fall closer to the line drawn by the bad model than by the good. I think all parties involved know that each new false-flag has an incremental impact driving us closer to war ,in addition to the random one you mention , at least as long as there remains considerable doubt about the true culprit with each new event.

From Khan al-Assal to Ghouta to Khan Sheikhoun we've moved closer and closer to the real "red line". For the anti-Assad camp , the false-flag strategy is still working and they'll keep it up , though I'm sure they're getting impatient. For the Assad side , gaining territory has the opposite effect , moving us away from the red line. Had Assad and Putin doubled-down on battlefield intensity after Aleppo and made further gains , rather than pausing as they did , I think they'd be in much better shape today.

Dean | Apr 22, 2017 2:10:38 PM | 76
How close is the USA and Israel? Look at Mattis's lapel pin during his presser.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-led-coalition-methodically-remove-defense-secretary/

Isn't that normally the country he represents?

IMO this shows that Israel foreign policy = USA foreign policy.

MusicofE | Apr 22, 2017 5:30:48 PM | 77
I I follow the link to the U.S. embassy Twitter page @33, unbelievable!. The Trump administration partying like it is 1984.

Piotr Berman | Apr 22, 2017 7:37:20 PM | 78
The usage of "there can be no doubt" is a bit different from what we could learn in English classes. First, "doubt" is a kind of thought-weed that is at times harmless, and at times seriously detrimental and thus subjected to eradication efforts. "There is no doubt" declares the success of the eradication campaign while "There can be no doubt" is more like "There should not be any doubt", i.e. an exhortation to continue and expand eradication campaign. Usually the large fields of major agribusiness companies are well tended with copious amounts of herbicides, while on the edges, meadows, smaller organically tended fields etc. the weeds can survive and in isolated places they can even thrive.

From that point of view excessive consumption of, say, NYT or TV news can make people positive for "symptoms of sarin or sarin-like chemicals" like Roundup when we take swabs from their mucosal surfaces and analyze with sensitive instruments. Smaller but proudly "mainstream" publications like New Yorker have no doubt either (in this case it is easy, because New Yorker is very compartmentalized, few individuals are allowed to write on the topic, this way they can keep doubt from showing without mass use of chemicals). The Nation has some articles written by doubt-free persons (like Katha Pollit) but doubt levels are significant -- kept down mostly by small number of articles on Syria. And Counterpunch is a weed in itself.

AKSA | Apr 22, 2017 7:56:06 PM | 79
@ Dean | Apr 22, 2017 2:10:38 PM | 76

No kidding!? How old are you?

How about this: The US is prime Nazi country/regime, and the Zionist state is modeled after the US, or the European racism. The settler states are known for its unprecedented violence. Unfortunately, still the phenomenon of extermination is connected with Germany and not the US.

http://warisacrime.org/content/how-us-race-laws-inspired-nazis

One of many U.S. state laws that Nazis examined was this from Maryland:

"All marriages between a white person and a Negro, or between a white person and a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race . . . [skipping over many variations] . . . are forever prohibited . . . punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than eighteen months nor more than ten years."

jfl | Apr 22, 2017 8:31:15 PM | 80
@78 bp. 'From that point of view excessive consumption of, say, NYT or TV news can make people positive for "symptoms of sarin or sarin-like chemicals" like Roundup when we take swabs from their mucosal surfaces and analyze with sensitive instruments.'

very nice piotr berman. the metaphor is so well drawn, and in the following cases as well. One has a malady, here, a malady. One feels a malady.

the dysfunctions all swell from a common source, into a slum of bloom. the wigs despoiling the Satan ear.

karlof1 | Apr 22, 2017 10:24:15 PM | 81
guy @45--

Yes, I was apprehensive at first, but the new regime toed BRICS's lines, participated in its functions as usual, and has tried to use it in its national interest. Brazil's internal contradictions don't allow it to abandon its one big success story. And as I stated, BRICS policy declarations are all in line with Russia and China's in every area.

psychohistorian | Apr 23, 2017 2:32:49 AM | 82
@ karlof1 who writes about geopolitics

While many of the big brains go to Wall St. to front guess Mr. Market, there are others, "no doubt", that build geopolitical dashboards, models and simulations for the elite to monitor all the countries/governments/militaries/public.

In spite of their visibility of their universe, they are losing control and know it. The absurdity of the ongoing global debt situation is a tell.

All countries have evolving relationships with both the US and China as well as within the various groups of nations. China is talking growth and the US/private finance is talking austerity. It is not if but a matter of when growth wins out and global finance is put under public control.

Temporarily Sane | Apr 23, 2017 8:43:48 AM | 83
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~Aldous Huxley

Afghan officials have said nearly 100 militants and no civilians were killed, but the remoteness of the area, the presence of Islamic State fighters, and, more recently, American security forces, has left those claims unverified.

[Dec 02, 2019] Stimulating, entertaining article from John Helmer if you are interested..

Dec 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Dec 1 2019 21:59 utc | 13

stimulating / entertaining article from john helmer if you are interested..

GEORGES SIMENON ANNIVERSARY -- INSPECTOR MAIGRET MEETS THE SINCERE, LYING LADY FROM THE CIA'S RUSSIA OFFICE, ANDREA KENDALL-TAYLOR

[Dec 02, 2019] The new meaning of intelligence: Adam Schiff, the man who every time he talks, shows his incompetence and lack of integrity is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

May 01, 2019 | anamericancomment.blogspot.com
Adam Schiff, the man who every time he talks, shows his incompetence and lack of integrity, but he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Think about that for a while.

[Dec 02, 2019] What Friendly Subpoena actually means

Notable quotes:
"... Thats sorta like a "suggestion" from a gun toting thug to hand over your wallet ain't it? ;-) ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

nmewn , 21 minutes ago link

A "friendly subpoena"...lol.

Thats sorta like a "suggestion" from a gun toting thug to hand over your wallet ain't it? ;-)

[Dec 02, 2019] Legitimate questions that need answers by The Saker

Dec 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website November 28, 2019 at 4:40 am GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yZk-fZUI8VI?feature=oembed

[Dec 01, 2019] The more people change the more they stay the same

Dec 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Dec 2 2019 0:19 utc | 26

Trump 2016: "I love Wikileaks."

Trump 2019: "I don't know Wikileaks."

!!

[Dec 01, 2019] Neoliberalism Tells Us We're Selfish Souls How Can We Promote Other Identities by Christine Berry,

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As the Gramscian theorists Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau observed, our political identities are not a 'given' – something that emerges directly from the objective facts of our situation. We all occupy a series of overlapping identities in our day-to-day lives – as workers or bosses, renters or home-owners, debtors or creditors. Which of these define our politics depends on political struggles for meaning and power. ..."
"... The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open. ..."
"... More generally, there is some evidence that neoliberalism didn't really succeed in making us see ourselves as selfish rational maximisers – just in making us believe that everybody else was . For example, a 2016 survey found that UK citizens are on average more oriented towards compassionate values than selfish values, but that they perceive others to be significantly more selfish (both than themselves and the actual UK average). Strikingly, those with a high 'self-society gap' were found to be less likely to vote and engage in civic activity, and highly likely to experience feelings of cultural estrangement. ..."
"... Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried." ..."
"... They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s. The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics. ..."
"... Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way and he dealt with the inherent inequality capitalism produced. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, which has influenced so much of the conventional thinking about money, is adamant that the public sector must not create ('print') money, and so public expenditure must be limited to what the market can 'afford.' Money, in this view, is a limited resource that the market ensures will be used efficiently. Is public money, then, a pipe dream? No, for the financial crisis and the response to it undermined this neoliberal dogma. ..."
"... The financial sector mismanaged its role as a source of money so badly that the state had to step in and provide unlimited monetary backing to rescue it. The creation of money out of thin air by public authorities revealed the inherently political nature of money. But why, then, was the power to create money ceded to the private sector in the first place -- and with so little public accountability? ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lambert here: Not sure the soul is an identity, but authors don't write the headlines. Read on!

By Christine Berry, a freelance researcher and writer and was previously Director of Policy and Government for the New Economics Foundation. She has also worked at ShareAction and in the House of Commons. Originally published at Open Democracy .

"Economics is the method: the object is to change the soul." Understanding why Thatcher said this is central to understanding the neoliberal project, and how we might move beyond it. Carys Hughes and Jim Cranshaw's opening article poses a crucial challenge to the left in this respect. It is too easy to tell ourselves a story about the long reign of neoliberalism that is peopled solely with all-powerful elites imposing their will on the oppressed masses. It is much harder to confront seriously the ways in which neoliberalism has manufactured popular consent for its policies.

The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people. We need a coherent strategy for replacing this narrative with one that actively reconstructs our collective self-image – turning us into empowered citizens participating in communities of mutual care, rather than selfish property-owning individuals competing in markets.

As the Gramscian theorists Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau observed, our political identities are not a 'given' – something that emerges directly from the objective facts of our situation. We all occupy a series of overlapping identities in our day-to-day lives – as workers or bosses, renters or home-owners, debtors or creditors. Which of these define our politics depends on political struggles for meaning and power.

Part of the job of politics – whether within political parties or social movements – is to show how our individual problems are rooted in systemic issues that can be confronted collectively if we organise around these identities. Thus, debt becomes not a source of shame but an injustice that debtors can organise against. Struggles with childcare are not a source of individual parental guilt but a shared societal problem that we have a shared responsibility to tackle. Podemos were deeply influenced by this thinking when they sought to redefine Spanish politics as 'La Casta' ('the elite') versus the people, cutting across many of the traditional boundaries between right and left.

The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open.

The Limits of Neoliberal Consciousness

In thinking about how we do this, it's instructive to look at the ways in which neoliberal attempts to reshape our identities have succeeded – and the ways they have failed. While Right to Buy might have been successful in identifying people as home-owners and stigmatising social housing, this has not bled through into wider support for private ownership. Although public ownership did become taboo among the political classes for a generation – far outside the political 'common sense' – polls consistently showed that this was not matched by a fall in public support for the idea. On some level – perhaps because of the poor performance of privatised entities – people continued to identify as citizens with a right to public services, rather than as consumers of privatised services. The continued overwhelming attachment to a public NHS is the epitome of this tendency. This is partly what made it possible for Corbyn's Labour to rehabilitate the concept of public ownership, as the 2017 Labour manifesto's proposals for public ownership of railways and water – dismissed as ludicrous by the political establishment – proved overwhelmingly popular.

More generally, there is some evidence that neoliberalism didn't really succeed in making us see ourselves as selfish rational maximisers – just in making us believe that everybody else was . For example, a 2016 survey found that UK citizens are on average more oriented towards compassionate values than selfish values, but that they perceive others to be significantly more selfish (both than themselves and the actual UK average). Strikingly, those with a high 'self-society gap' were found to be less likely to vote and engage in civic activity, and highly likely to experience feelings of cultural estrangement.

This finding points towards both the great conjuring trick of neoliberal subjectivity and its Achilles heel: it has successfully popularised an idea of what human beings are like that most of us don't actually identify with ourselves. This research suggests that our political crisis is caused not only by people's material conditions of disempowerment, but by four decades of being told that we can't trust our fellow citizens. But it also suggests that deep down, we know this pessimistic account of human nature just isn't who we really are – or who we aspire to be.

An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage' , cooperation is our species' main survival strategy.

What's Our 'Right to Buy?'

The challenge for the left is to find policies and stories that tap into this latent sense of what makes us human – what Gramsci called 'good sense' – and use it to overturn the neoliberal 'common sense'. In doing so, we must be aware that we are competing not only with a neoliberal identity but also with a new far-right that seeks to promote a white British ethno-nationalist group identity, conflating 'elites' with outsiders. How we compete with this is the million dollar question, and it's one we have not yet answered.

Thatcher's use of flagship policies like the Right to Buy was a masterclass in this respect. Deceptively simple, tangible and easy to grasp, the Right to Buy also communicated a much deeper story about the kind of nation we wanted to be – one of private, property-owning individuals – cementing home-ownership as a cultural symbol of aspiration (the right to paint your own front door) whilst giving millions an immediate financial stake in her new order. So what might be the equivalent flagship policies for the left today?

Perhaps one of the strongest efforts to date has been the proposal for ' Inclusive Ownership Funds ', first developed by Mathew Lawrence in a report for the New Economics Foundation, and announced as Labour policy by John McDonnell in 2018. This would require companies to transfer shares into a fund giving their workers a collective stake that rises over time and pays out employee dividends. Like the Right to Buy, as well as shifting the material distribution of wealth and power, this aims to build our identity as part of a community of workers taking more collective control over our working lives.

But this idea only takes us so far. While it may tap into people's desire for more security and empowerment at work, more of a stake in what they do, it offers a fairly abstract benefit that only cashes out over time, as workers acquire enough of a stake to have a meaningful say over company strategy. It may not mean much to those at the sharpest end of our oppressive and precarious labour market, at least not unless we also tackle the more pressing concerns they face – such as the exploitative practices of behemoths like Amazon or the stress caused by zero-hours contracts. We have not yet hit on an idea that can compete with the transformative change to people's lives offered by the Right to Buy.

So what else is on the table? Perhaps, when it comes to the cutting edge of new left thinking on these issues, the workplace isn't really where the action is – at least not directly. Perhaps we need to be tapping into people's desire to escape the 'rat race' altogether and have more freedom to pursue the things that really make us happy – time with our families, access to nature, the space to look after ourselves, connection with our communities. The four day working week (crucially with no loss of pay) has real potential as a flagship policy in this respect. The Conservatives and the right-wing press may be laughing it down with jokes about Labour being lazy and feckless, but perhaps this is because they are rattled. Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work.

Skilfully communicated, this has the potential to be a profoundly anti-neoliberal policy that conveys a new story about what we aspire to, individually and as a society. Where neoliberalism tapped into people's desire for more personal freedom and hooked this to the acquisition of wealth, property and consumer choice, we can refocus on the freedom to live the lives we truly want. Instead of offering freedom through the market, we can offer freedom from the market.

Proponents of Universal Basic Income often argue that it fulfils a similar function of liberating people from work and detaching our ability to provide for ourselves from the marketplace for labour. But in material terms, it's unlikely that a UBI could be set at a level that would genuinely offer people this freedom, at least in the short term. And in narrative terms, UBI is actually a highly malleable policy that is equally susceptible to being co-opted by a libertarian agenda. Even at its best, it is really a policy about redistribution of already existing wealth (albeit on a bigger scale than the welfare state as it stands). To truly overturn neoliberalism, we need to go beyond this and talk about collective ownership and creation of wealth.

Policies that focus on collective control of assets may do a better job of replacing a narrative about individual property ownership with one that highlights the actual concentration of property wealth in the hands of elites – and the need to reclaim these assets for the common good. As well as Inclusive Ownership Funds, another way of doing this is through Citizens' Wealth Funds, which socialise profitable assets (be it natural resources or intangible ones such as data) and use the proceeds to pay dividends to individuals or communities. Universal Basic Services – for instance, policies such as free publicly owned buses – may be another.

Finally, I'd like to make a plea for care work as a critical area that merits further attention to develop convincing flagship policies – be it on universal childcare, elderly care or support for unpaid carers. The instinctive attachment that many of us feel to a public NHS needs to be widened to promote a broader right to care and be cared for, whilst firmly resisting the marketisation of care. Although care is often marginalised in political debate, as a new mum, I'm acutely aware that it is fundamental to millions of people's ability to live the lives they want. In an ageing population, most people now have lived experience of the pressures of caring for someone – whether a parent or a child. By talking about these issues, we move the terrain of political contestation away from the work valued by the market and onto the work we all know really matters; away from the competition for scarce resources and onto our ability to look after each other. And surely, that's exactly where the left wants it to be.

This article forms part of the " Left governmentality" mini series for openDemocracy.

Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm

The problem is that people are selfish–me included–and so what is needed is not better ideas about ourselves but better laws. And for that we will need a higher level of political engagement and a refusal to accept candidates who sell themselves as a "lesser evil." It's the decline of democracy that brought on the rise of Reagan and Thatcher and Neoliberalism and not some change in public consciousness (except insofar as the general public became wealthier and more complacent). In America incumbents are almost universally likely to be re-elected to Congress and so they have no reason to reject Neoliberal ideas.

So here's suggesting that a functioning political process is the key to reform and not some change in the PR.

Angie Neer , November 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Carolinian, like you, I try to include myself in statements about "the problem with people." I believe one of the things preventing progress is our tendency to believe it's only those people that are the problem.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 1, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Human nature people are selfish. It's like the Christian marriage vow – which I understand is a Medieval invention and not something from 2,000 years ago – for better or worse, meaning, we share (and are not to be selfish) the good and the bad.

"Not neoliberals, but all of us." "Not the right, but the left as well." "Not just Russia, but America," or "Not just America, but Russia too."

Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried."

The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm

My small brain got stuck on your reference to a 'Christian marriage vow'. I was just sitting back and conceiving what a Neoliberal marriage vow would sound like. Probably a cross between a no-liabilities contract and an open-marriage agreement.

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 9:05 pm

"people are selfish"?; or "people can sometimes act selfishly"? I think the latter is the more accurate statement. Appeal to the better side, and more of it will be forthcoming.
Neolib propaganda appeals to trivial, bleak individualism..

Carolinian , November 2, 2019 at 9:14 am

I'm not sure historic left attempts to appeal to "the better angels of our nature" have really moved the ball much. It took the Great Depression to give us a New Deal and WW2 to give Britain the NHS and the India its freedom. I'd say events are in the saddle far more than ideas.

Mark Anderlik , November 2, 2019 at 10:58 am

I rather look at it as a "both and" rather than an "either or." If the political groundwork is not done beforehand and during, the opportunity events afford will more likely be squandered.

And borrowing from evolutionary science, this also holds with the "punctuated equilibrium" theory of social/political change. The strain of a changed environment (caused by both events and intentionally created political activity) for a long time creates no visible change to the system, and so appears to fail. But then some combination of events and conscious political work suddenly "punctuates the equilibrium" with the resulting significant if not radical changes.

Chile today can be seen as a great example of this: "Its not 30 Pesos, its 30 Years."

J4Zonian , November 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Carolinian, you provide a good illustration of the power of the dominant paradigm to make people believe exactly what the article said–something I've observed more than enough to confirm is true. People act in a wide variety of ways; but many people deny that altruism and compassion are equally "human nature". Both parts of the belief pointed out here–believing other people are selfish and that we're not–are explained by projection acting in concert with the other parts of this phenomenon. Even though it's flawed because it's only a political and not a psychological explanation, It's a good start toward understanding.

"You and I are so deeply acculturated to the idea of "self" and organization and species that it is hard to believe that man [sic] might view his [sic] relations with the environment in any other way than the way which I have rather unfairly blamed upon the nineteenth-century evolutionists."

Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p 483-4
This is part of a longer quote that's been important to me my whole life. Worth looking up. Bateson called this a mistake in epistemology–also, informally, his definition of evil.
http://anomalogue.com/blog/category/systems-thinking/

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
― Frédéric Bastiat

Doesn't mean it's genetic. In fact, I'm pretty sure it means it's not.

Capital fn 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm

The desire for justice is the constant.

The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.

But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.

The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.

Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:09 am

At some points in life, everyone is a free rider. As for the hard workers, many of them are doing destructive things which the less hard-working people will have to suffer under and compensate for. (Neo)liberalism and capitalism are a coherent system of illusions of virtue which rest on domination, exploitation, extraction, and propaganda. Stoking of resentment (as of free riders, the poor, the losers, foreigners, and so on) is one of the ways those who enjoy it keep it going.

Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm

The desire for justice is the constant.

The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.

But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.

The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.

Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.

Synoia , November 2, 2019 at 12:58 pm

The Iron Lady had a agenda to break the labor movement in the UK.

What she did not understand is Management gets the Union (Behavior) it deserves. If there is strife in the workplace, as there was in abundance in the UK at that time, the problem is the Management, (and the UK class structure) not the workers.

As I found out when I left University.

Thatcher set out to break the solidarity of the Labor movement, and used the neo-liberal tool of selfishness to achieve success, unfortunately,

The UK's poor management practices, (The Working Class can kiss my arse) and complete inability to form teams of "Management and Workers" was, IMHO, is the foundation of today's Brexit nightmare, a foundation based on the British Class Structure.

And exploited, as it ever was, to achieve ends which do not benefit workers in any manner.

The Historian , November 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm

The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people.

Sigh, no this is not true. This author is making the mistake that everyone is like the top 5% and that just is not so. Perhaps she should get out of her personal echo chamber and talk to common people.

In my travels I have been to every state and every major city, and I have worked with just about every class of people, except of course the ultra wealthy and ultra powerful – they have people to protect them from the great unwashed like me – and it didn't take me long to notice that the elite are different from the rest of us but I could never explain exactly why. After I retired, I started studying and I've examined everything from Adam Smith, to Hobbes, to Kant, to Durkheim, to Marx, to Ayn Rand, to tons of histories and anthropologies of various peoples, to you name it and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want.

Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. It is what allowed people in Europe to risk their own lives to save Jews. And it is also what allows people to live under the worst dictators without rebelling. Of course we all want more but we have limits on what we will do to get that more – the wealthy and powerful seem to have no limits. For instance, most of us won't screw over our co-workers to make ourselves look better, although some will. Most of us won't turn on our best friends even when it would be to our advantage to do so, although some will. Most of us won't abandon those we care about, even when it means severe financial damage to us, although some will.

For lack of a better description, I call what the 5% have the greed gene – a gene that allows them to give up empathy and compassion and basic morality – what some of us call fairness – in the search for personal gain. I don't think it is necessarily genetic but there is something in their makeup that cause them to have more than the average self interest. And because most humans are more cooperative than they are competitive, most humans just allow these people to go after what they want and don't stand in their way, even though by stopping them, they could make their own lives better.

Most history and economics are theories and stories told by the rich and powerful to justify their behavior. I think it is a big mistake to attribute that behavior to the mass of humanity. Archeology is beginning to look more at how average people lived instead of seeking out only the riches deposited by the elite, and historians are starting to look at the other side of history – average people – to see what life was really like for them, and I think we are seeing that what the rulers wanted was never what their people wanted. It is beginning to appear obvious that 95% of the people just wanted to live in their communities safely, to have about what everyone else around them had, and to enjoy the simple pleasures of shelter, enough food, and warm companionship.

I'm also wondering why the 5% think that all of us want exactly what they want. Do they really think that they are somehow being smarter or more competent got them there while 95% of the population – the rest of us – failed?

At this point, I know my theory is half-baked – I definitely need to do more research, but nothing I have found yet convinces me that there isn't some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 5:09 pm

" ..and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want. Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. "

I really liked your comment Historian. Thanks for posting. That's what I've felt in my gut for a while, that the top 5% and the establishment are operating under a different mindset, that the majority of people don't want a competitive, dog eat dog, self interest world.

SKM , November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

me too, great observation and well put. Made me feel better too! Heartfelt thanks

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm

I agree with Foy Johnson. I've been reading up on Ancient Greece and realizing all the time that 'teh Greeks' are maybe only about thirty percent of the people in Greece. Most of that history is how Greeks were taking advantage of each other with little mention of the majority of the population. Pelasgians? Yeah, they came from serpents teeth, the end.

I think this is a problem from the Bronze Age that we have not properly addressed.

Mystery Cycles are a nice reminder that people were having fun on their own.

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Thanks very much for this comment, Historian.

deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 5:22 pm

I have more or less the same view. I think the author's statement about neoliberalism tapping into what type of life people want to lead is untenable. Besides instinct (are we all 4-year olds?), what people want is also very much socially constructed. And what people do is also very much socially coerced.

One anecdote: years ago, during a volunteer drive at work, I worked side by side with the company's CEO (company was ~1200 headcount, ~.5bn revenue) sorting canned goods. The guy was doing it like he was in a competition. So much so that he often blocked me when I had to place something on the shelves, and took a lot of space in the lineup around himself while swinging his large-ish body and arms, and wouldn't stop talking. To me, this was very rude and inconsiderate, and showed a repulsive level of disregard to others. This kind of behavior at such an event, besides being unpleasant to be around, was likely also making work for the others in the lineup less efficient. Had I or anyone else behaved like him, we would have had a good amount of awkwardness or even a conflict.

What I don't get is, how does he and others get away with it? My guess is, people don't want a conflict. I didn't want a conflict and said nothing to that CEO. Not because I am not competitive, but because I didn't want an ugly social situation (we said 'excuse me' and 'sorry' enough, I just didn't think it would go over well to ask him to stop being obnoxious and dominant for no reason). He obviously didn't care or was unaware – or actually, I think he was behaving that way as a tactical habit. And I didn't feel I had the authority to impose a different order.

So, in the end, it's about power – power relations and knowing what to do about it.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Yep, I think you've nailed it there deplorado, types like your CEO don't care at all and/or are socially unaware, and is a tactical habit that they have found has worked for them in the past and is now ingrained. It is a power relation and our current world unfortunately is now designed and made to suit people like that. And each day the world incrementally moves a little bit more in their direction with inertia like a glacier. Its going to take something big to turn it around

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm

I too believe "most of us are not neoliberal". But if so, how did we end up with the kind of Corporate Cartels, Government Agencies and Organizations that currently prey upon Humankind? This post greatly oversimplifies the mechanisms and dynamics of Neoliberalism, and other varieties of exploitation of the many by the few. This post risks a mocking tie to Identity Politics. What traits of Humankind give truth to Goebbels' claims?

There definitely is "some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us" -- but the question you should ask next is why the rest of us Hobbits blindly follow and help the Saurons among us. Why do so many of us do exactly what we're told? How is it that constant repetition of the Neoliberal identity concepts over our media can so effectively ensnare the thinking of so many?

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Maybe it's something similar to Milgram's Experiment (the movie the Experimenter about Milgram was on last night – worth watching and good acting by Peter Sarsgaard, my kind of indie film), the outcome is just not what would normally be expected, people bow to authority, against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice. The Hobbits followed blindly in that experiment, the exact opposite outcome as to what was predicted by the all the psychology experts beforehand.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm

people bow to authority , against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice

'Don't Make Waves' is a fundamentally useful value that lets us all swim along. This can be manipulated. If everyone is worried about Reds Under the Beds or recycling, you go along to get along.

Some people somersault to Authority is how I'd put it.

Foy , November 1, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Yep, don't mind how you put that Mo, good word somersault.

One of the amusing tests Milgram did was to have people go into the lift but all face the back of the lift instead of the doors and see what happens when the next person got in. Sure enough, with the next person would get in, face the front, look around with some confusion at everyone else and then slowly turn and face the back. Don't Make Waves its instinctive to let us all swim along as you said.

And 'some people' is correct. It was actually the majority, 65%, who followed directions against their own will and preferred choice in his original experiment.

susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 8:07 pm

thank you, historian

The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm

That's a pretty damn good comment that, Historian. Lots to unpick. It reminded me too of something that John Wyndham once said. He wrote how about 95% of us wanted to live in peace and comfort but that the other 5% were always considering their chances if they started something. He went on to say that it was the introduction of nuclear weapons that made nobody's chances of looking good which explains why the lack of a new major war since WW2.

Mr grumpy , November 1, 2019 at 9:56 pm

Good comment. My view is that it all boils down to the sociopathic personality disorder. Sociopathy runs on a continuum, and we all exhibit some of its tendencies. At the highest end you get serial killers and titans of industry, like the guy sorting cans in another comment. I believe all religions and theories of ethical behavior began as attempts to reign in the sociopaths by those of us much lower on the continuum. Neoliberalism starts by saying the sociopaths are the norm, turning the usual moral and ethical universe upside down.

Janie , November 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Your theory is not half-baked; it's spot-on. If you're not the whatever it takes, end justifies the means type, you are not likely to rise to the top in the corporate world. The cream rises to the top happens only in the dairy.

Grebo , November 2, 2019 at 12:25 am

Your 5% would correspond to Altemeyer's "social dominators". Unfortunately only 75% want a simple, peaceful life. 20% are looking for a social dominator to follow. It's psychological.

Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:21 am

Excellent comment. Take into consideration the probability that the majority of the top 5% have come from a privileged background, ensconced in a culture of entitlement. This "greed" gene is as natural to them as breathing. Consider also that many wealthy families have maintained their status through centuries of calculated loveless marriages, empathy and other human traits gene-pooled out of existence. The cruel paradox is that for the sake of riches, they have lost their richness in character.

Davenport , November 2, 2019 at 7:57 am

This really chimes with me. Thanks so much for putting it down in words.

I often encounter people insisting humans are selfish. It is quite frustrating that this more predominant side of our human nature seems to become invisible against the propaganda.

Henry Moon Pie , November 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm

I'm barely into Jeremy Lent's The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning , but he's already laid down his central thesis in fairly complete form. Humans are both competitive and cooperative, he says, which should surprise no one. What I found interesting is that the competitive side comes from primates who are more intensely competitive than humans. The cooperation developed after the human/primate split and was enabled by "mimetic culture," communication skills that importantly presuppose that the object(s) of communication are intentional creatures like oneself but with a somewhat different perspective. Example: Human #1 gestures to Human #2 to come take a closer look at whatever Human #1 is examining. This ability to cooperate even came with strategies to prevent a would-be dominant male from taking over a hunter-gatherer band:

[I]n virtually all hunter-gatherer societies, people join together to prevent powerful males from taking too much control, using collective behaviors such as ridicule, group disobedience, and, ultimately, extreme sanctions such as assassination [This kind of society is called] a "reverse dominant hierarchy because rather than being dominated, the rank and file manages to dominate.

SKM , November 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

yes, this chimes in with what I`ve been thinking for years after puzzling about why society everywhere ends up as it does – ie the fact that in small groups as we evolved to live in, we would keep a check on extreme selfish behaviour of dominant individuals. In complex societies (modern) most of us become "the masses" visible in some way to the system but the top echelons are not visible to us and are able to amass power and wealth out of all control by the rest of us. And yes, you do have to have a very strange drive (relatively rare, ?pathological) to want power and wealth at everyone else`s expense – to live in a cruel world many of whose problems could be solved (or not arise in the first place) by redistributing some of your wealth to little palpable cost to you

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Africa over a few million years of Ice Ages seems to have presented our ancestors with the possibility of reproducing only if you can get along in close proximity to other Hominids without killing each other. I find that a compelling explanation for our stupidly big brains; it's one thing to be a smart monkey, it's a whole different solution needed to model what is going on in the brain of another smart monkey.

And communications: How could spoken language have developed without levels of trust and interdependence that maybe we can not appreciate today? We have a word for 'Blue' nowadays, we take it for granted.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:18 am

There is a theory that language originated between mothers and their immediate progeny, between whom either trust and benevolence exist, or the weaker dies. The mother's chances for survival and reproduction are enhanced if she can get her progeny to, so to speak, help out around the house; how to do that is extended by symbolism and syntax as well as example.

chuck roast , November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

I recall the first day of Econ 102 when the Prof. (damned few adjuncts in those days) said, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be built on the concept of scarcity." Being a contrary buggah' I thought, "The air I'm breathing isn't scarce." I soon got with the program supply and demand upward sloping, downward sloping, horizontal, vertical and who could forget kinked. My personal favorite was the Giffen Good a high priced inferior product. Kind of like Micro Economics.

Maybe we could begin our new Neo-Economics 102 with the proviso, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be based on abundance." I'm gonna' like this class!

Off The Street , November 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Neo-lib Econ does a great job at framing issues so that people don't notice what is excluded. Think of them as proto-Dark Patternists.

If you are bored and slightly mischievous, ask an economist how theory addresses cooperation, then assume a can opener and crack open a twist-top beer.

jrs , November 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Isn't one of the problems that it's NOT really built on the concept of scarcity? Most natural resources run into scarcity eventually. I don't know about the air one breaths, certainly fish species are finding reduced oxygen in the oceans due to climate change.

shtove , November 2, 2019 at 3:45 am

Yes, I suppose people in cities in south-east Asia wearing soot-exclusion masks have a different take on the abundance of air.

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm

If you would like that class on abundance you would love the Church of Abundant Life which pushes Jesus as the way to Abundant Life and they mean that literally. Abundant as in Jesus wants you to have lots of stuff -- so believe.

I believe Neoliberalism is a much more complex animal than an economic theory. Mirowski builds a plausible argument that Neoliberalism is a theory of epistemology. The Market discovers Truth.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

"The air I'm breathing isn't scarce."

Had a lovely Physics class where the first homework problem boiled down to "How often do you inhale a atom (O or N) from Julius Caesar's last breath". Great little introduction to the power and pratfalls of 'estimations by Physicists' that xkcd likes to poke at. Back then we used the CRC Handbook to figure it out.

Anyway, every second breath you can be sure you have shared an atom with Caesar.

Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm

I don't think Maggie T. or uncle Milty were thinking about the future at all. Neither one would have openly promoted turfing quadriplegic 70-year-olds out of the rest home. That's how short sighted they both were. And stupid. We really need to call a spade a spade here. Milty doesn't even qualify as an economist – unless economics is the study of the destruction of society. But neoliberalism had been in the wings already, by the 80s, for 40 years. Nobody took into account that utility-maximizing capitalism always kills the goose (except Lenin maybe) – because it's too expensive to feed her. The neoliberals were just plain dumb. The question really is why should we stand for another day of neoliberal nonsense? Albeit Macht Frei Light? No thanks. I think they've got the question backwards – it shouldn't be how should "we" reconstruct our image now – but what is the obligation of all the failed neoliberal extractors to right society now? I'd just as soon stand back and watch the dam burst as help the neolibs out with a little here and a little there. They'll just keep taking as long as we give. This isn't as annoying as Macron's "cake" comment, but it's close. I did like the last 2 paragraphs however.

Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Here's a sidebar. A universal one. There is an anomaly in the universe – there is not enough accumulated entropy. It screws up theoretical physics because the missing entropy needs to be accounted for for their theories to work to their satisfaction. It seems to be a phenomenon of evolution. Thus it was recently discovered by a physics grad student that entropy by heat dissipation is the "creator" of life. Life almost spontaneously erupts where it can take advantage of an energy source. And, we are assuming, life thereby slows entropy down. There has to be another similar process among the stars and the planets as well, an evolutionary conservation of energy. So evolution takes on more serious meaning. From the quantum to the infinite. And society – it's right in the middle. So it isn't too unreasonable to think that society is extremely adaptable, taking advantage of any energy input, and it seems true to think that. Which means that society can go long for its goal before it breaks down. But in the end it will be enervated by lack of "resources" unless it can self perpetuate in an evolving manner. That's one good reason to say goodbye to looney ideologies.

djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

For a view of humanity that is not as selfish, recommend "The Gift" by Marcel Mauss. Basically an anthropological study of reciprocal gift giving in the oceanic potlatch societies. My take is that the idea was to re-visit relationships, as giving a gift basically forces a response in the receiver, "Am I going to respond in kind, perhaps even upping what is required? Or am I going to find that this relationship simply isn't worth it and walk away?"

Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. Except with the potlatch it was like extending that concept to the clan at large, so that all the relationships within the clan were being re-enforced.

Amfortas the hippie , November 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm

"Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. "
amen.
we, the people, abdicated.

as for humans being selfish by default i used to believe this, due to my own experiences as an outlaw and pariah.
until wife's cancer and the overwhelming response of this little town,in the "reddest" congressional district in texas.
locally, the most selfish people i know are the one's who own everything buying up their neighbor's businesses when things get tough.
they are also the most smug and pretentious(local dems, in their hillforts come a close second in this regard) and most likely to be gop true believers.
small town and all everybody literally knows everybody, and their extended family and those connections are intertwined beyond belief.
wife's related, in some way, to maybe half the town.
that matters and explains my experience as an outcast: i never belonged to anything like that and such fellowfeeling and support is hard for people to extend to a stranger.
That's what's gonna be the hard sell, here, in undoing the hyperindividualist, "there is no such thing as society" nonsense.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm

I grew up until Junior High in a fishing village on the Maine coast that had been around for well over a hundred years and had a population of under 1000. By the time I was 8 I realized there was no point in being extreme with anyone, because they were likely to be around for the rest of your life.

I fell in love with sun and warmth when we moved away and unfortunately it's all gentrified now, by the 90s even a tar paper shack could be sold for a few acres up in Lamoine.

djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm

Yep, small towns are about as close as we get to clans nowadays. And just like clans, you don't want to be on the outside. Still when you marry in, it would be nice if the town would make you feel more a member like a clan should / would. ;-)

But outside of the small town and extended families I think that's it. We've been atomized into our nuclear families. Except for the ruling class – I think they have this quid pro quo gift giving relationship building figured out quite nicely. Basically they've formed their own small town – at the top.

By the way, I understand Mauss was an influence on Baudrillard. I could almost imagine Baudrillard thinking how the reality of the potlatch societies was so different than the reality of western societies.

Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

That's the big problem I see in this discussion. We know, or at least think we know, what's wrong, and what would be better; but we can't get other people to want to do something about it, even those who nominally agree with us. And I sure don't have the answer.

David , November 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing. Low taxes but still decent public services. The right to buy your council house without putting your parents' council house house in jeopardy. Enjoying private medical care as a perk of your job whilst still finding the NHS there when you were old and sick. And so on. By the time the penny dropped it was too late.
If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community, which it abandoned decades ago in favour of extreme liberal individualism Unfortunately, community is an idea which has either been appropriated by various identity warriors (thus fracturing society further) or dismissed (as this author does) because it's been taken up by the Right. A Left which explained that when everybody cooperates everybody benefits, but that when everybody fights everybody loses, would sweep the board.

deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

>>Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing.

This. That's it.

Thank you David, for always providing among the most grounded and illuminating comments here.

Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:54 pm

If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community

I agree. The tenuous suggestions offered by the article are top down. But top-down universal solutions can remove the impetus for local organization. Which enervates the power of communities. And then you can't do anything about austerity, because your Rep loves the PowerPoints and has so much money from the Real Estate community.

Before one experiences the virtue, or power, of a community, one has to go through the pain in the ass of contributing to a community. It has to be rewarding process or it won't happen.

No idea how to do that from the top.

Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Jeez louise-
one more attempt to get past Skynet

PKMKII , November 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Anyone have a link to the studies mentioned about how Econ majors were the only ones to act selfishly in the game scenarios?

Rod , November 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm

this may not get the ECON majors specifically but this will raise your eyebrows

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/embark-essay-tragedy-of-the-commons-greed-common-good/

this is next gen coming up here

Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm

"An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage', cooperation is our species' main survival strategy."

Since so many people believe their job is their identity, would be interssting to know what the job training or jobs were of the "others."

Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm

"Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work."

And that is a key point!

Carey , November 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm

>so many people believe their job is their identity

Only because the social sphere, which in the medium and long term we *all depend on* to survive, has been debased by 24/7/365 neolib talking points, and their purposeful economic constrictions..

Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 7:13 pm

How many people have spent their lives working for the "greater good"? How many work building some transcendental edifice from which the only satisfaction they could take away was knowing they performed a part of its construction? The idea that Humankind is selfish and greedy is a projection promoted by the small part of Humankind that really is selfish and greedy.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 4:59 am

Let's work out the basics, this will help.

Where does wealth creation actually occur in the capitalist system?

Nations can do well with the trade, as we have seen with China and Germany, but this comes at other nation's expense.
In a successful global economy, trade should be balanced over the long term.
Keynes was aware of this in the past, and realised surplus nations were just as much of a problem as deficit nations in a successful global economy with a long term future.

Zimababwe has lots of money and it's not doing them any favours. Too much money causes hyper-inflation.
You can just print money, the real wealth in the economy lies somewhere else.
Alan Greenspan tells Paul Ryan the Government can create all the money it wants and there is no need to save for pensions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNCZHAQnfGU
What matters is whether the goods and services are there for them to buy with that money. That's where the real wealth in the economy lies.
Money has no intrinsic value; its value comes from what it can buy.
Zimbabwe has too much money in the economy relative to the goods and services available in that economy. You need wheelbarrows full of money to buy anything.
It's that GDP thing that measures real wealth creation.

GDP does not include the transfer of existing assets like stocks and real estate.
Inflated asset prices are just inflated asset prices and this can disappear all too easily as we keep seeing in real estate.
1990s – UK, US (S&L), Canada (Toronto), Scandinavia, Japan
2000s – Iceland, Dubai, US (2008)
2010s – Ireland, Spain, Greece
Get ready to put Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong on the list.
They invented the GDP measure in the 1930s, to track real wealth creation in the economy after they had seen all that apparent wealth in the US stock market disappear in 1929.
There was nothing really there.

Now, we can move on further.

The UK's national income accountants can't work out how finance adds any value (creates wealth).
Banks create money from bank loans, not wealth.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
We have mistaken inflating asset prices for creating wealth.

How can banks create wealth with bank credit?
The UK used to know before 1980.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png
Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth (business and industry, creating new products and services in the economy)
After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth (real estate and financial speculation)
What happened in 1979?
The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979 and the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.

Real estate does make the economy boom, but there is no real wealth creation in inflating asset prices.
What is really happening?
When you use bank credit to inflate asset prices, the debt rises much faster than GDP.
https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png
The bank credit of mortgages is bringing future spending power into today.
Bank loans create money and the repayment of debt to banks destroys money.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
In the real estate boom, new money pours into the economy from mortgage lending, fuelling a boom in the real economy, which feeds back into the real estate boom.
The Japanese real estate boom of the 1980s was so excessive the people even commented on the "excess money", and everyone enjoyed spending that excess money in the economy.
In the real estate bust, debt repayments to banks destroy money and push the economy towards debt deflation (a shrinking money supply).
Japan has been like this for thirty years as they pay back the debts from their 1980s excesses, it's called a balance sheet recession.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk
Bank loans effectively take future spending and bring it in today.
Jam today, penury tomorrow.
Using future spending power to inflate asset prices today is a mistake that comes from thinking inflating asset prices creates real wealth.
GDP measures real wealth creation.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 5:37 am

Did you know capitalism works best with low housing costs and a low cost of living? Probably not, you are in the parallel universe of neoliberalism.

William White (BIS, OECD) talks about how economics really changed over one hundred years ago as classical economics was replaced by neoclassical economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6iXBQ33pBo&t=2485s

He thinks we have been on the wrong path for one hundred years.

Some very important things got lost 100 years ago.

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)

"Wait a minute, employees get their money from wages and businesses have to cover high housing costs in wages reducing profit" the CBI

It's all about the economy, and UK businesses will benefit from low housing costs. High housing costs push up wages and reduce profits. Off-shore to make more profit, you can pay lower wages where the cost of living is lower, e.g. China; the US and UK are rubbish.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:11 am

What was Keynes really doing? Creating a low cost, internationally competitive economy. Keynes's ideas were a solution to the problems of the Great Depression, but we forgot why he did, what he did.

They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s. The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way and he dealt with the inherent inequality capitalism produced.

The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living

Disposable income = wages - (taxes + the cost of living)

High progressive taxation funded a low cost economy with subsidised housing, healthcare, education and other services to give more disposable income on lower wages.

Employers and employees both win with a low cost of living.

Keynesian ideas went wrong in the 1970s and everyone had forgotten the problems of neoclassical economics that he originally solved.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:44 am

Economics, the time line:

We thought small state, unregulated capitalism was something that it wasn't as our ideas came from neoclassical economics, which has little connection with classical economics.

On bringing it back again, we had lost everything that had been learned in the 1930s, by which time it had already demonstrated its flaws.

Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:54 am

Ultimately, neoliberalism is about privatization and ownership of everything. This is why it's so important to preserve the Common Good, the vital resources and services that support earthly existence. The past 40 years has shown what happens when this falls out of balance. Our value system turns upside down – the sick become more valuable than the healthy, a violent society provides for the prisons-for-profit system and so on. The biggest upset has been the privatization of money creation.

This latest secret bank bailout (not really secret as Dodd-Frank has allowed banks to siphon newly created money from the Fed without Congressional approval. No more public embarrassment that Hank Paulson had to endure.) They are now up to $690 billion PER WEEK while the media snoozes. PPPs enjoy the benefits of public money to seed projects for private gain. The rest of us have to rely on predatory lenders, sinking us to the point of Peak Debt, where private debt can never be paid off and must be cancelled, as it should be because it never should've happened in the first place.

"Neoliberalism, which has influenced so much of the conventional thinking about money, is adamant that the public sector must not create ('print') money, and so public expenditure must be limited to what the market can 'afford.' Money, in this view, is a limited resource that the market ensures will be used efficiently. Is public money, then, a pipe dream? No, for the financial crisis and the response to it undermined this neoliberal dogma.

The financial sector mismanaged its role as a source of money so badly that the state had to step in and provide unlimited monetary backing to rescue it. The creation of money out of thin air by public authorities revealed the inherently political nature of money. But why, then, was the power to create money ceded to the private sector in the first place -- and with so little public accountability? And if money can be created to serve the banks, why not to benefit people and the environment? "

Paul Hirshman , November 2, 2019 at 3:33 pm

The Commons should have a shot at revival as the upcoming generation's desires are outstripped by their incomes and savings. The conflict between desires and reality may give a boost to alternate notions of what's desirable. Add to this the submersion of cities under the waves of our expanding oceans, and one gets yet another concrete reason to think that individual ownership isn't up to the job of inspiring young people.

A Commons of some sort will be needed to undo the cost of generations of unpaid negative externalities. Fossil fuels, constant warfare, income inequality, stupendous idiocy of kleptocratic government these baked in qualities of neo-liberalism are creating a very large, dissatisfied, and educated population just about anywhere one looks. Suburbia will be on fire, as well as underwater. Farmlands will be parched, drenched, and exhausted. Where will Larry Summers dump the garbage?

[Dec 01, 2019] Why the best political interviews in the USA are done by comedians?

May be because this is a right genre? , ,
Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

fdr-fan , , November 29, 2019 at 2:11 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdYud9re7-Q

Joe Rogan finally got around to interviewing Tulsi, along with another vet named Jocko Willink. Tulsi does splendidly but unsurprisingly, finally allowed to complete a sentence without fighting stupid questions. Around the middle of the clip, Willink has a passionate description of the rebirth of manufacturing in Maine, which is surprising!

[Dec 01, 2019] Borat is actually as stupid as he presented other nationalities to be. But he is much more aggorant.

Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , November 29, 2019 at 6:17 pm

ADL International Leadership Award Presented to Sacha Baron Cohen at Never Is Now 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymaWq5yZIYM

This is an astonishing speech. Borat ..?

The comments have been turned off.

urblintz , November 30, 2019 at 1:33 am

Binoy Kampmark responds; https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/29/sacha-baron-cohen-comes-out-swinging/

Not that he's wrong about social media but he actually said this (I imagine with a straight face) – " "let's hold these companies responsible for those who use their sites to advocate mass murder of children because of their race or religion."

Apparently he doesn't know that Israel is on both Faceplant and Twitster

[Dec 01, 2019] The essence of Black Friday

Dec 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Dannyh , November 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm

"I loathe Black Friday: Degrading scenes of people wrestling for shoddy merchandise."

[Dec 01, 2019] Angry Bear: Putin Beating Up People At Russia's Top University

Dec 01, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

That would be Moscow State University, the "Harvard" of Russia.

Not in the MSM at all, but I have mu sources, and apparently sometime last week the FSB, the successor to the domestic arm of the old KGB, raised Moscow State (whose main building is one of those "Stalin Gothic" skyscrapers) to capture a student who had been posting leaflets on walls protesting recent government actions. He was reortedly taken into the library and severely beaten to the point of torture.

Oh yes, VV Putin is such a lover of knowledge and science, just like his flunky, Donald J. Trump.

Happy Thanksgiving, you all.

Barkley Rosser

likbez , December 1, 2019 1:31 am

Barkley,

I think you suffer from chronic Russophobia. Or smoked something really strong. You should read Stephen Cohen more., although I am not sure that it can help.

You just describes the set of action so stupid that they are unrealistic.

Putin after all is a lawyer and he understand how the neoliberal MSM fueled by Western money would react to such an incident.

Can you explain why this student was not taken to court and charged with vandalizing property and forces to couple of month of community work plus to pay the cost of cleaning as is typical in such cases?

IMHO this is not how Russian authorities usually behave is such case -- they always suspect well organize western provocation -- look at Pussies provocations and the authorities reaction.

Why FSB needs to chaise a poor student giving neoliberal MSMs another golden opportunity to smear Russia, Not like you did -- without any evidence, but with a credible evidence? This is police work.

[Nov 30, 2019] We can all agree that humans have had a devastating impact on every corner the environment, every ecosystem. However, it is a leap of manufactured faith (manipulation) to claim that humans are responsible for climate change

Nov 30, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

How about the hysteria that led to the Spanish War? "Remember the Maine," The ship was supposedly sunk in Havana Harbor by Spanish perfidy. In fact the Maine blew up because a coal bunker fire burned through a bulkhead and set off something or other. That was the US Navy's investigative finding after the war. Don't tell me about Hearst. Hearst was just selling newspapers. The American people went into a hysteric rage against Spain and that was the cause of war. Hearst just wanted to find "Rosebud." Figure it out.

And now we have the approaching end of the world through man made climate change. It would be funny if there were not so many who believe it.

Science? Hah! For every study you can produce in support of this fantasy I will find you one to rebut it. All you ecofreaks! Don't send me material about this. I will not help you support the hysteric fantasy. Send money to the Democratic Party. They believe this crap. pl.


Bandit , 29 November 2019 at 10:29 PM

Now this is a post I can get behind. For me it has been the hysteria and the ease with which people are manipulated through propaganda that has astonished me, because that is what the climate change agenda is all about. We can all agree that humans have had a devastating impact on every corner the environment, every ecosystem. However, it is a leap of manufactured faith (manipulation) to claim that humans are responsible for climate change.

To support this bogus hypothesis, scientists strangle and manipulate data in an effort to justify draconian laws and policies that can only line the pockets of the very rich at the expense of the rest of the tax paying population. Carbon tax is the real aim here, a totally bullshit pretext to suck more trillions of dollars from the economies of the world. Self-selecting "experts" join the chorus because of fear of censorship and loss of status while the brave ones are called, as always, climate change denialists, and thus denigrated.

Mr Zarate , 29 November 2019 at 10:41 PM
The hysteria that erupts when anyone questions climate change says pretty much all you need to know about it.
ambrit , 29 November 2019 at 10:41 PM
Oh man! Even most of the lefties I associate with believe it. They are supposed to, through the tenets of their secular 'religion,' use solid evidence as their guides. The evidence is not persuasive. The Earth has gone through fluctuations in climate for ever. The dinosaurs made do in a much hotter earth, if the geologic evidence be true. It took a cosmic strike to do them in.
Humans are the top predators here because they can adapt to change much quicker than any other animal. Modern human civilization may not be recognizable to any of us in two hundred years. That would be true with or without "climate change." We will carry on, one way or another.
Similarly to what Bandit wrote above, I see various 'elites' angling to make book on whatever does happen. The Science Fiction writer William Gibson has proposed in his book "The Peripheral," a near future based on a massive world population die back that he calls "The Jackpot."
Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peripheral
All in all, we live in 'Interesting Times.'
Thank you for your indulgence.

[Nov 30, 2019] Newsweek Reporter Fired After Peddling Fake News That Trump Golfed On Thanksgiving

Nov 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump tweeted "I thought Newsweek was out of business?,"

The Persistent Vegetable , 4 minutes ago link

Now if they will just fire those reporters who claim dems are going to jail for spying on the president!

5fingerdiscount , 17 minutes ago link

Everyone is wound up pretty tight today.

What happened?

Someone shoot your crack dealer?

[Nov 28, 2019] The slogan of the day

Nov 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bjd , Nov 28 2019 14:51 utc | 3

No Turkey for NATO.
No NATO for Turkey.

[Nov 28, 2019] How you can outdo Jeff Bezos in charity

This is not completely fair comparison, but the valid point is that still philanthropy cannot be used as an excuse to glorify absurd levels of wealth inequality
Nov 28, 2019 | www.reddit.com

something different

Rafael Shimunov

@rafaelshimunov

Bezos gives 0.0906% to charity.

If you make $25 an hour, and drop a $20 bill on 2 gofundme's per year, you're giving more of your income to charity than the richest person on earth.

[Nov 28, 2019] Times change and we change with them

Nov 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Jack Dee 21 hours ago

Interesting to note how the phrase "Deep State" has gone mainstream. 3 years ago it was just a conspiracy theory

[Nov 28, 2019] 2020 Democratic Debate - SNL

Nov 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Presidential candidates Andrew Yang (Bowen Yang), Pete Buttigieg (Colin Jost), Cory Booker (Chris Redd), Elizabeth Warren (Kate McKinnon), Amy Klobuchar (Rachel Dratch), Tom Steyer (Will Ferrell), Michael Bloomberg (Fred Armisen), Tulsi Gabbard (Cecily Strong) Bernie Sanders (Larry David), Joe Biden (Woody Harrelson) and Kamala Harris (Maya Rudolph) speak at MSNBC's 2020 Democratic Debate.


Neel Desai , 2 days ago

Yang gets ignored even in a fake debate lol.

Shane Towne , 1 day ago (edited)

This is the funniest SNL in awhile, love Bernie and Bidens character.

meha K , 1 day ago (edited)

Lmao spot on "I'm one second away from calling Corey Booker 'Barack.'"

Garrett Lee , 3 days ago

"Trump don't want me to be the nominee. Putin don't want me to be the nominee. No one in America wants me to be the nominee."

The Illusion , 1 day ago

"I'm America's cool Aunt that lies about smoking weed in college so people think I'm cool."

Aimen Abduljelil , 1 day ago

Cecily Strong's Tulsi is pretty accurate :-)

Incomudro , 13 hours ago

Got to say, they nailed it well. "Tulsi" is hot.

[Nov 28, 2019] Browder insinuates that Fusion GPS was agent for Russia

That's the same bottomfeeder and tax fraud Browder, who most probably killed Magnitsky. and who abruptly changed his citizenship from the USA to British after his adventures in Russia. What a Chutzpah on the part of a person involved in fleecing Russia after dissolution of the USSR, the activity supported by MI6 and CIA.
Nov 28, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Businessman Bill Browder alleged Fusion GPS acted as an agent for Russian interests in 2016, when the country was trying to combat the Magnitsky Act and its sanctions on Russian officials.

[Nov 28, 2019] New revelations about Trump, Putin and Tulsi

Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dltravers , Nov 27 2019 22:31 utc | 27

I talked to the maid who cleaned Trump's room in Moscow after he pissed in the bed Obama slept in. She says he did it. She is now working on the submarine used by Putin to have sex with Tulsi Gabbart off the coast of Hawaii. She routinely makes up the bed and cleans the wardroom after they have sex.

All of this can be found if one searches for the facts. CNN is reporting on this daily, it must be true.

Brendan , Nov 27 2019 22:46 utc | 28
No surprise that Wikipedia has a page entitled "Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections" that begins with the words "The Russian government interfered in (...)", as if it is a proven fact.
David G , Nov 27 2019 23:47 utc | 33
The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion . The IRA spend only some $45,000 . It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time.
Actually that's 0.000007 IRA dollars , or all of 0.0007 cents, per election dollar.

Doesn't look so minor now, does it?

FSD , Nov 28 2019 2:32 utc | 38

...As for the IRA indictments, they were a sham from top to bottom. Here's the Powerline blog:

"One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn't really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!"

[Nov 27, 2019] It's Going To Be Bad - Heavy Snow And Wind Could Affect Millions Of Travelers This Week

Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

_JOHNLGALT. , 1 minute ago link

It's them pesky RUSSIANS again.

[Nov 27, 2019] I always said Obama spoke like he had oatmeal stuck to the roof of his mouth because he usually stood for exactly nothing.

Nov 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

timbers , November 27, 2019 at 5:49 am

I always said Obama spoke like he had oatmeal stuck to the roof of his mouth because he usually stood for exactly nothing.

Obama was such a parsed speaker devoid of conviction except to be in service to a dutiful fulfillment to neoliberal establishment policies, I'm surprised the headline doesn't go something like:

"Obama Privately Considered to Privately Consider Leading a Consideration to Consider a Stop Bernie Consideration "

[Nov 27, 2019] Is Macron Right Is NATO, 70, Brain Dead

Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Under NATO, we are now committed to go to war for 28 nations

[Nov 27, 2019] Who need Putin when you can get election manipulation by CIA

Edited for clarity
Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

VladLenin , 2 hours ago link

Who need Putin when you can get election manipulation by CIA

Pareto , 2 hours ago link

Welcome all my friends to the show that never ends...

[Nov 27, 2019] A good news for Lindsey Graham: Pompeo might soon join the Senate and Lindsey Graham will not feel lonely as now has no one he is able to talk to about exporting democracy by blowing up the planet since Joe Lieberman retired and John McCain died

Nov 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

A story has been circulating suggesting that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will soon be resigning because he needs to focus on planning for his campaign to become a Senator from Kansas in 2020.

This is good news for the United States, as Senator Lindsey Graham has had no one he is able to talk to about exporting democracy by blowing up the planet since Joe Lieberman retired and John McCain died.

[Nov 26, 2019] 'Idea Laundering' The American Conservative

Nov 26, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We tend to think of propaganda as something generated by the state. This is a prime example of it coming from ideologues within universities, and making its way to the public via sympathizers in the mass media. Eventually, these lies become de facto truths, either because people really do believe in them, or the cost of questioning them becomes too great, so people conform. In time, younger people -- those who grew up being socialized into the lie -- don't know any different. In my interviews for my forthcoming book on lessons we must learn from the communist experience, a Ukrainian immigrant named Olga Grigorenko, recalling her Soviet childhood, said "Nobody told me that I was living in a lie. I was just living my life in my country, the Soviet Union. Nobody said it was a lie."

As she grew older, she came to see that in fact she lived within a system of lies. Her husband, Vladimir, spoke about how the ideology corrupted all knowledge. From the transcript:

Vladimir: For example, all history was represented as the fight between capitalism and the workers. It takes a really creative mind to see the system of classes from Marxism-Leninism presenting itself in ancient Egypt. But that's what they did. All history books were filled with that point of view. The Florentine Republic was the equal of the Great October Revolution – things like that. All our history books were like that. Every scientific paper was supposed to have a prefatory chapter describing how Marx and Engels were geniuses in that particular field of science, and how their findings anticipated whatever this scientific article described. Any and all sciences had to show a connection to the decision of the party in a previous convention.

Olga: But nobody believed in it.

Vladimir: But everybody knew that you had to say these things in order to be published.

More:

Olga: In high school and middle school, we had to write essays, like normal school kids do. But you never could write what you think about the subject. Never, ever. The subject could be interesting, but you never could put what do you think. You have to find some way to relate that to the communist view.

Vladimir: The general culture taught you this doublethink.

Olga: I remember when I was eight or nine years old, I came home from school and told my parents a funny anecdote about a famous Red Army hero, one that made him look bad. I just started to tell my parents, and my father looked at me and said, 'Never do that again. Not in our house, not anywhere. Just stop, and forget. You can't tell funny stories about communist leaders.' And I was afraid.

Vladimir: Sooner or later, society would tell you what you shouldn't say. And if you said it, you would end up in the camp.

We are reproducing that system here, in an American way. It begins with the ideological corruption of knowledge in the institutions of higher education, then moves out from there. How difficult do you imagine it would be within the New York Times newsroom, or any major American newsroom, to mount a serious challenge to the concepts of "whiteness," "patriarchy," and the like? In fact, we have an example of it, from this summer: the leaked transcript of the Times 's internal town hall meeting , in which an unnamed staffer told editor-in-chief Dean Baquet that "I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting."

Baquet declined the opportunity to deliver a Journalistic Standards 101 lecture to this person, and instead gave a fuzzy non-answer ( read the transcript ; you'll see) praising the paper's then-upcoming "1619 Project," a massive initiative attempting to "reframe" American history around slavery.

If you'll recall, the 1619 Project was named for the year the first African slave arrived on American shores; the Times said that year, not 1776, ought to be remembered as the founding of America.

[Nov 26, 2019] Why Pompeo Gives Away the Palestinian West Bank

Nov 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

BannedHipster , says: November 26, 2019 at 3:21 pm GMT

Trump must be doing some really terrible stuff on all those Ghislaine Maxwell/Jeffrey Epstein tapes.

[Nov 26, 2019] The Illiberal World Order

Notable quotes:
"... Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along. ..."
"... Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions ..."
"... Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues ..."
"... An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Illiberal World Order by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/25/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

From a big picture perspective, the largest rift in American politics is between those willing to admit reality and those clinging to a dishonest perception of a past that never actually existed. Ironically, those who most frequently use "post-truth" to describe our current era tend to be those with the most distorted view of what was really happening during the Clinton/Bush/Obama reign.

Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along.

They want to forget about the bipartisan coverup of Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11, all the wars based on lies, and the indisputable imperial crimes disclosed by Wikileaks, Snowden and others. They want to pretend Wall Street crooks weren't bailed out and made even more powerful by the Bush/Obama tag team, despite ostensible ideological differences between the two. They want to forget Epstein Didn't Kill Himself.

Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions. As such, the most meaningful fracture in American society today is between those who've accepted that we've been lied to for a very long time, and those who think everything was perfectly fine before Trump. There's no real room for a productive discussion between such groups because one of them just wants to get rid of orange man, while the other is focused on what's to come. One side actually believes a liberal world order existed in the recent past, while the other fundamentally recognizes this was mostly propaganda based on myth.

Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues. In contrast, resistance liberals just desperately scramble to put up whoever they think can take us back to a make-believe world of the recent past. This distinction is actually everything. It's the difference between people who've at least rejected the status quo and those who want to rewind history and perform a do-over of the past forty years.

A meaningful understanding that unites populists across the ideological spectrum is the basic acceptance that the status quo is pernicious and unsalvageable, while the status quo-promoting opposition focuses on Trump the man while conveniently ignoring the worst of his policies because they're essentially just a continuation of Bush/Clinton/Obama. It's the most shortsighted and destructive response to Trump imaginable. It's also why the Trump-era alliance of corporate, imperialist Democrats and rightwing Bush-era neoconservatives makes perfect sense, as twisted and deranged as it might seem at first. With some minor distinctions, these people share nostalgia for the same thing.

This sort of political environment is extremely unhealthy because it places an intentional and enormous pressure on everyone to choose between dedicating every fiber of your being to removing Trump at all costs or supporting him. This anti-intellectualism promotes an ends justifies the means attitude on all sides. In other words, it turns more and more people into rhinoceroses.

Eugène Ionesco's masterpiece, Rhinoceros, is about a central European town where the citizens turn, one by one, into rhinoceroses. Once changed, they do what rhinoceroses do, which is rampage through the town, destroying everything in their path. People are a little puzzled at first, what with their fellow citizens just turning into rampaging rhinos out of the blue, but even that slight puzzlement fades quickly enough. Soon it's just the New Normal. Soon it's just the way things are a good thing, even. Only one man resists the siren call of rhinocerosness, and that choice brings nothing but pain and existential doubt, as he is utterly profoundly alone.

– Ben Hunt, The Long Now, Pt. 2 – Make, Protect, Teach

A political environment where you're pressured to choose between some ridiculous binary of "we must remove Trump at all costs" or go gung-ho MAGA, is a rhinoceros generating machine. The only thing that happens when you channel your inner rhinoceros to defeat rhinoceroses, is you get more rhinoceroses. And that's exactly what's happening.

The truth of the matter is the U.S. is an illiberal democracy in practice, despite various myths to the cont