Monday, June 5, 2017

(Goodbye No Angel Gregg)  Democratic Party Elites Don't Have Ideals (Republicans Do - Very Bad (Criminal) Ones)  Real History of First Black President?  (BLS BS)  Social Security Always In Black  (Rule-Breaking Trumped?)  Never a Left-Wing Alternative?  (Known Con Man Leads Polls)  US World Domination End Seen?  (Necessity of Cover Stories)  JFK at 100 Tremors  (False Flags Bragging Material?)   Terrorism & Dot-Com Bubble 2.0



Did someone forget to pay the Saudis their bribe on time?

I've said early and often that Obama always seemed more like someone who was chosen than someone who made the hard choices.

Paul Street fills us in on the real history of our first black president.

“In Chicago…we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program – the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance.”
Garrow very incompletely quotes Reed’s reflection only to dismiss it as “an academic’s way of calling Barack an Uncle Tom.”  That is an unfortunate judgement. Reed’s assessment was richly born-out by Obama’s subsequent political career.  Like his politcio-ideological soul-brothers Bill Clinton and Tony Blair (and perhaps now Emmanuel Macron), Obama’s public life has been a wretched monument to the dark power of the neoliberal corporate-financial and imperial agendas behind the progressive pretense of façade of telegenic and silver-tongued professional class politicos.
Reed’s prescient verdict more than 12 years before Obama became president brings more insight to the Obama tragedy than Jager’s reflection five years into Obama’s presidency. Obama’s nauseating taste for supposedly (and deceptively) non-ideological “get things done” “pragmatism,” “compromise,” and “playing it safe” – for “accepting the world as it is instead of trying to change it” (Jager) – was not simply or merely a personality quirk or psychological flaw. It was also and far more significantly a longstanding way for “liberal” Democratic presidents and other politicos to appear “tough-minded” and stoutly determined to “getting things done” while they subordinate the fake-populist and progressive-sounding values they mouth to get elected to the harsh “deep state” facts of U.S. ruling class, imperial, and “national security” power. A “pragmatic,” supposedly non-ideological concern for policy effectiveness – “what can be accomplished in the real world” – has long given “liberal” presidents a manly way to justify governing in accord with the wishes of the nation’s ruling class and power elite.
Garrow and Jager might want to look at a forgotten political science classic, Bruce Miroff’s  Pragmatic Illusions:  The Presidential Politics of John F. Kennedy [1976].) After detailing the supposedly progressive Kennedy’s cool-headed, Harvard-minted, and “best and brightest” service to the nation’s reigning corporate, imperial, and racial hierarchies, Miroff explained that:

“Most modern presidents have claimed the title of ‘pragmatist’ for themselves.  Richard Nixon was just as concerned as John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to announce that he was not wedded to dogma, and that his administration would follow a realistic and flexible course. It has chiefly been the liberal presidents, however, who have captured the pragmatic label…For liberal presidents – and for those who have advised them – the essential mark of pragmatism is its ‘tough-mindedness.’

Pragmatism is equated with strength and intellectual and moral strength that can accept a world stripped of illusions and can take the facts unadorned. Committed to liberal objectives, yet free from liberal sentimentality, the pragmatic liberal sees himself as grappling with brute and unpleasant facts of political reality in order to humanize and soften those facts … The great enemy for pragmatic liberals is ideology…An illusory objectivity is one of the pillars of pragmatic ‘tough-mindedness.’ The second pillar is readiness for power.  Pragmatists are interested in what works; their prime criterion of value is success … [and] as a believer in concrete results, the pragmatist is ineluctably drawn to power.  For it is power that gets things done most easily, that makes things work most successfully.” (Pragmatic Illusions, 283-84, emphasis added).
The classic neoliberal Bill Clinton embraced the pragmatic and non-ideological “get things done” façade for state capitalist and imperialist policy. So did the pioneering neoliberal Jimmy Carter and the great corporate liberals Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kenney and Franklin Roosevelt. Was this really or mainly because they were psychologically wounded?

The deeper and more relevant reality is that they functioned atop a Superpower nation-state rule by unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money, empire, and white supremacism. They were educated, socialized, seduced and indoctrinated – to understand in their bones that those de facto dictatorships must remain intact (Roosevelt boasted of having saved the profits system) and that liberal “reform” must always bend to the will of reigning institutions and doctrines of concentrated wealth, class, race, and power. Some or all of them may well have to believe and internalize the purportedly non-ideological ideology of wealth- and power-serving pragmatism. And Obama was either a true believer or one who cynically chose to impersonate one as the ticket to power quite early on.
A Fully Minted Neoliberal Early On
The irony here is that one can consult Rising Star to determine the basic underlying accuracy of Reed’s acerbic description. My foremost revelation from Rising Star is that Obama was fully formed as a fake-progressive neoliberal-capitalist actor well before he ever received his first big money campaign contribution.  He’s headed down the same ideological path as the Clintons even before Bill Clinton walks into the Oval Office.  Obama’s years in the corporate-funded foundation world, the great ruling and professional class finishing schools Columbia University Harvard Law, and the great neoliberal University of Chicago’s elite Law School were more than sufficient to mint him as a brilliant if “vacuous to repressive neoliberal.”

Like those latest job-creation figures?

I'm guessing you already have a good job?

But this is all fancy, of course. No businesses are closing. No one is really unemployed who wants to work.

Right?

There Is NO B.S. Like The BLS

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Renowned linguist and author Noam Chomsky believes today's Republican Party is "more dangerous than ISIS," whether or not Trump voters will ever be willing to admit it. As of one May 31 poll, 68 percent think America is on the right track.
u>Chomsky, on the other hand, believes the country has been on the wrong track since it adopted a neoliberal economic model several decades ago — and things are about to get a whole lot worse.
During the opening of the first zero net energy building at UMass Amherst on April 13, Chomsky began his lecture by explaining why the despair that has ravaged Trump country is a phenomenon unique to America
"[There's been] a dramatic increase in mortality among middle-aged white Americans without college degrees, beginning in 1999, recently documented by [Princeton professors] Anne Case and Angus Deaton," he said.
Case and Deaton found the pattern has spread nationwide in the past two decades, with no end in sight. 
"It's a phenomenon unknown apart from war and pestilence," Chomsky said. "They have an updated current analysis where they attribute the increase in mortality to despair and loss of status of working people under the neoliberal miracle, which is concomitant [with] heightened worker insecurity."
Thus, during the 2016 presidential election, "the same sectors of the population that are suffering increased mortality turned for rescue to their bitter class enemy, out of understandable, but self-destructive desperation."
Trump's 2018 budget, introduced in late May, would prove especially damaging to his working-class voters, due to its deep cuts to social programs. In its most recent analysis, the Congressional Budget Office found that the GOP's American Health Care Act would strip 23 million Americans of their health insurance over the next decade.
"The consequences for working people are now being exhibited behind the facade of Trump/Bannon/Spicer bluster before the cameras," said Chomsky. "This is the systematic enactment of the [Paul] Ryan legislative programs, which are unusually savage even for the ultra-right."
. . . "There's probably worse to come, as further blows to working people are authorized by the Trump/Roberts Court," noted Chomsky. "Now with Gorsuch on board, who will probably decide to destroy public sector unions on fraudulent libertarian grounds."
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Oh no.

RIP, Gregg, and Duane.

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That bear is really angry here and we should be at this reoccurring charade as well:

Here is the truth:
Social Security does not add one dime to the debt or the deficit.
It is paid for entirely by the workers who will get the benefits.
When Social Security “taxes” bring in more money than currently needed to pay benefits, that money is kept in a Trust Fund, which like other trust funds uses the money to buy interest earning government bonds. Then when Social Security taxes bring in less money than needed to pay current benefits, it cashes the bonds.
Note that Social Security is NOT borrowing money; it is LENDING money TO the government, and when SS cashes its bonds it is NOT causing the government to spend money for Social Security. The government BORROWED that money FROM Social Security and spent it on other things, including tax cuts. Paying the money BACK to Social Security does not increase the Federal Debt. It reduces it. Or it would reduce if it the government didn’t get the money to pay BACK Social Security by borrowing it from someone else.
But by talking backwards the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) hopes to fool you into thinking that Social Security CAUSES the debt.
Then, when it’s time for Congress to pay back the money it borrowed FROM Social Security, this payment shows up in their budget as an “expense,” and because all the expenses add up to more than all the income, the budget is in deficit, and the payment of Congress’ debt TO Social Security, like all the other expenses, is said to “contribute to the deficit.”
But it is talking backwards to describe paying BACK the money you borrowed as contributing to your deficit.
Normal people would not think much of you if you borrowed money from Paul and then told them that Paul was responsible for your debt. And if you paid Paul back by borrowing from Peter, normal people would not think you were being honest if you said that Paul increased your deficit.
Social Security does have an “actuarial deficit.” This has nothing to do with the “budget deficit” or the Federal debt. What it means is that some time in the future if nothing is changed, Social Security will not have enough money to pay for all the “scheduled” benefits. This is a problem that can be fixed by raising the payroll “tax.”
[I put “tax” in quotes to try to remind people this is not like an ordinary tax, because you get your money back, with interest, when you will need it more than you do today.]
The amount of the raise that will be needed is not large. Ultimately about 2% of your wages from you and another 2% from your employer. It would be better to phase this in at a rate of one tenth of one percent per year… about a dollar per week in today’s money. This is at the same time your wages will be going up over ten dollars per week per year.
Or you could wait to the last minute and raise your tax by 2%. This would not be a burden, because by then your income will be at least 20% higher than it is today. But you would feel it as a burden if it hit you all at once. It’s the difference between getting a raise of 200 dollars a week and getting a raise of 180 dollars a week. If you had never expected the 200 dollars, you would be happy to get the $180. Especially if you remembered that your were not “losing” that $20 but merely setting it aside to help pay for a longer retirement than you had expected.
Or you could raise your tax about one percent today (and another one percent from your boss). This would take care of the “actuarial deficit” for the next seventy five years. But the enemies of Social Security like to scream “this won’t do:  we have to solve the problem once and for all!” Actually we don’t. The people in 2090 will be in a much better position than we are to decide if they want to raise their tax another one percent or decide to do something else.
Thing is, we do have to do something now. We have to at least think about it carefully so we won’t be fooled by the people talking backwards, or stampeded by the people screaming Social Security is broke, flat bust” and “a huge burden on the young.”
Remember:   a dollar a week each year if you start this year or next. Ten dollars per week for the next 75 years if you start this year and want to let the people seventy five years from now worry about another ten dollars (in today’s money) when their income will be more than twice ours. Or you can do nothing and wait a little more than ten years and then raise your tax about twenty dollars per week all at once, which will fix the problem forever (including those people living out at the infinite horizon).
Or you can listen to Maya and panic and let Congress cut your benefits, or increase the age you will be allowed to retire, or turn Social Security into welfare as we knew it (which will lead very soon to cut benefits and increases in the retirement age for the poor, and nothing for you while you still pay the taxes) with all the fun of gong to the welfare office every quarter to prove you really need it.
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I heard that a local around here said Trump is a good thing for the nation because “he doesn’t play by rules”. This is true. Rules are for college students mired in debt, not guys with gold toilets who strategically utilize bankruptcy…what, 40 times now? He promised to keep his hands off certain safety nets which he is gnawing on with his tiny, sharp incisors. Rules such as telling even a modicum of truth are not observed by Trump. He’s King Gaslighter, the man who made “Idiocracy” an unwatchable documentary. The ugly brutish side of Empire is at least clearly on display. Andrew Jackson is tattooed on the ass of the ass for all to see.
They say that the poor are more likely to extend generosity to others, despite being the least likely to be able to afford it. A thought is that this is due to a need for reciprocity, and a natural inclination for communal benefit. This is a concept that the 1% do not need to cultivate. Why assist friends when you can buy sycophants? Why nurture a loving long-term relationship when you can purchase a newer model (sometimes they malfunction and slap your hand away twice, but no mechanical device is perfect). The hollow nature of these interactions are probably only realized on the proverbial deathbed.
The great tragedy of it all is that most people do not want to be cruel. They are manipulated into a fevered notion that somehow the poor deserve a life as only a commodity. It is a difficult thing to encourage these beliefs, but we’ve had marketing experts at it for a very long time … like since the first food was locked up in an attempt to bring about excess labor for the few. You know, jackasses on stone fainting couches — someone fanning them with ostrich feathers. I’m pretty sure that was what it looked like. Hey, even the army has difficulty getting killers out of the kids they bring in. It’s a science to encourage these unnatural impulses. Most shots fired are said to be aimed to miss. When given the chance, soldiers often play and share with the enemy as they did during WWI at Christmas — all it took was for the brass to be away from the front-lines (they were in town enjoying the holiday).
This is not to say humans don’t have the capacity for incredible cruelty, but in most instances, even the most deranged acts of war derive from an escalation of inhumanity, and the desire to protect the new family group that forms among soldier peers. The elite, the Trumps of the world … they know this. They amassed fortunes from the exploitation of these basic inclinations to do a perceived good, and for these young individuals to protect those they care about. As we talk about this, those who have benefited from the manufacture of weapons of war continue to push for enhanced punitive measures, whether it be clownishly named murder devices like the “Mother of all Bombs” or simply arming rebels who will likely turn on their benefactors rapidly. But they will still perpetuate chaos, which in many instances, is the real goal. Life forms like Henry Kissinger ooze next to those in power, D or R, and whisper rationales that salve any leftover form of conscience.
The media focuses on touching glowing orbs (which honestly was pretty fucking weird) and then salacious bursts of murder video from a concert that pulled in so many adolescent girls. But never a panel that rationally discusses how to stop these events without escalating the violence and creating a growing tower of retribution and hate. And that’s because it feels good to hate without reason, to not consider the why of the situation. There’s no existential crisis in that. One can feel like a monster truck mud flap, casting away all the mire while being fully a part of it. Filthy and dull-witted, maybe have a curvy girl with you in the muck on your flap.
I think away from those we’ve allowed to be in power and consider the kind souls who exist because I don’t want to suffer from intractable vomiting. There are those out there with simple wishes — individuals like Riley Hancey and his family. He died not long ago after being denied a lung transplant because he had marijuana in his system. After a delay, he did receive a transplant from a more decent facility, but it was all too late. “In his honor, we ask that you take a moment to do a random act of kindness for someone” — that is all that his family requested.
I know the connection is tenuous, but I have to consider if we all do this, even extending some kindness to the souls in denial about the cruelty coming from those in power, then the erosion process can begin. The hateful build-up that will do nothing but enrich individuals so out of touch that they think it is appropriate to crap in gold toilets and pretend to eat strings of pearls for photo shoots…all this when kids in Flint have no clean water. Kids in Gaza…well, hell they don’t have much of anything — except maybe shrapnel.
Syrian children continue to drown in boats propelled by their parents despair. The worth of a human has to be measured in the lives touched and the experiences had in our very short time here, not the work the Trumps of the world can extract from us to gild their hollow existence. This bilious incongruity has got to end.

The Booman says "Boo!" to unobservant Democrats. Got ya?

Montana’s taking a lot of abuse . . . because they just elected a guy who has been charged with misdemeanor assault for body-slamming and punching a reporter without really any provocation at all. But it shouldn’t surprise us that there are areas that are willing to overlook that and give more than nine out of ten of their votes to the criminal. If these areas respected reporters and newspapers, they would have been influenced by the fact that almost no editorial board in the country endorsed Donald Trump for president. Instead, these areas gave a much higher percentage of their vote to Trump than they had to Romney or McCain. Most of the movement to Trump actually came from folks who had voted for Obama rather than from newly engaged folks or from folks abandoning right-wing third parties.
There are a lot of things to worry us in these facts and figures, but one of them is that we can see what happens when these communities don’t have a left-wing alternative to Republicanism. They turn harsh and uncharitable, and the way they express their populist sentiments becomes indistinguishable from fascism. In the recent past, the Blue Dog model of centrism did well enough to win in some places and blunt the losses in others allowing for the party to compete statewide.

But that model has collapsed and can’t be revived. These folks need an actual left-wing alternative and what we’ve been offering them has been driving them away in droves. For a while, it was thought that it wouldn’t matter. This was best expressed by Chuck Schumer in 2016 when he predicted, “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.” When the results came in, the truth was that nearly the exact opposite happened. And I want to emphasize that it was primarily Democrats who were lost.
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Even "Salon" has noticed.

No one ever quite explains how even the most idealistic of Democrats could “reach out” to the 61 percent of Trump primary voters who believe that Barack Obama is an illegal immigrant born in Kenya and smuggled through customs as part of a Manchurian candidate conspiracy, but liberals will maintain that a large number of racists voting for a racist is somehow their fault.
Progressives were too “politically correct” or “self-righteous,” as a former Obama official phrased it for the Atlantic, and they are incapable of seeing beyond the “blue bubble,” to cite a boring bromide forever playing on repeat in television studios and radio stations across America.
All but the densest of observers will notice that all the self-flagellators share one common characteristic:  they are white. People of color do not seem apologetic or stupefied over Trump’s victory. Expertly, and often violently, acquainted with the anti-intellectual and resentful failures of white America, many black and Latino Americans are able to clearly identify the villain in the story.
When I asked a black friend and former coworker what she thought of Trump’s triumph at the polls, just a week after the results, she expressed disgust and said, “I wasn’t surprised.” I did not interpret her comprehension of America’s comfort with bigotry as an indictment of Clinton for not campaigning in Wisconsin or as criticism of overly zealous college students, satirical stand-up comics, or anyone else offered as a shield to deflect attention away from the real problems of American culture, and the refusal of white America to advance with an increasingly multicultural and multiethnic society.
. . . I, like most anyone else who was horrified at the turnout, know and love people within the Trump coalition, but personal affection should not preclude acknowledgement that something is amiss with someone in their right mind supporting a con man who boasted of committing sexual assault; proclaimed that women deserve punishment for abortion; routinely insulted African-Americans, Mexicans and Muslims; mocked a disabled journalist; and demonstrated profound ignorance of the basic tenets of American history, law and governance.
. . . The dedication of American culture to protecting the fragile white ego in denial of widespread white mediocrity is without limit. According to this worldview, black crack addicts in the 1980s and ’90s represented a grave threat to civilization, while white heroin junkies are the human face of a “medical crisis.” Black and Latino poverty is the result of laziness and lack of discipline, but poor white people are the victims of a worldwide economic conspiracy. Donald Trump is not the problem of the tens of millions of whites who voted for him, but the liberals who opposed him.
 Lessons from Montana's May 25, 2017 Special Election
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Also, with Trump in charge, there is not a world leader anywhere foolish enough really to trust the United States. There are signs now that even the Saudis and the Israelis are concerned.
This should drive a wedge between longstanding American allies and Uncle Sam – something that would be good for them, and good for us in the midst of the economic and political turbulence of the present period.
The best thing that could happen for the American people would be an end to American world domination.
In a better possible world, wiser statesmen than any we have seen for a while would now be engaged in the task of dismantling the empire, and restoring the (small-r) republic we are supposed to be. 
A graceful, well thought-out exit strategy, guided by the understanding that, like a better world, a softer landing is possible, would of course be infinitely preferable to the spectacle of the whole world coming to realize that the President of the United States is an asshole.
That isn’t exactly a wise exit strategy, but it could turn into a way out.
Therefore, with stalemate being the best of all (constitutionally) possible political outcomes, and with American hegemony in crisis thanks to Trumpian malfeasance, why even think of removing him from office?
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Lifted gently some time ago from the blog of Avedon Carol:

"The Democratic Party Is a Ghost:   Democratic Party elites don't have ideals. They just need you to be scared of the Republicans. [...] The Democratic leadership looks hardly different than it has for my entire adult life, a grim and aging collection of Clinton apparatchiks totally secure in their sinecures - all the more so because the only time the party ever does use what power it has, it's to quash any discontent from its base or its leftward flank."
And, in another stellar display of the diversity and civilized, mature decorum we expect from Clinton partisans, "An Editor at Ms. Magazine Rejoices That Someday Bernie Sanders Will Die." Katie Halper reports.
Jimmy Carter, "Losing my religion for equalityWomen and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God. I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult."
Richard J. Eskow, "Yes, Obama's $400,000 Speech is a ProblemA new poll shows fully two-thirds of the American public agrees with this statement:  'The Democratic Party is out of touch with the concerns of most people.' And scarcely more than one in four Democrats themselves think the party understands most people's everyday concerns.

It was also just announced that Barack Obama, following in the well-heeled footsteps of Bill and Hillary Clinton, will be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for giving a speech on behalf of a Wall Street firm. Anyone who thinks these two facts aren't connected isn't paying attention.

Obama's payday reflects a longstanding pattern of behavior from Democratic leaders:  Talk like liberals, govern from the center, and make a lot of money once you're out of office."
* Gaius Publius, "Obama Harvests His Presidency:
* And oddly, even "The New York Times" editorial board is critical of "The Cost of Barack Obama's Speech."
* "Barack Obama's $400,000 speaking fees reveal what few want to admitHis mission was never racial or economic justice. It's time we stop pretending it was."
* Elsewhere, Gaius reminded me of an article James K. Galbraith wrote back in 2011, "The Bad DealOver here reality has been evident for a while, thanks to the President's pattern of giving way to banks, lobbies, Republicans and right-wing extremists. Whether your prime interest is housing, health care, peace, justice, jobs or climate change, if you are an activist in America you have known for a long time that this President is not your friend. [...] The debt deal will make things clear. The President is not a progressive 'he is not what Americans still call a 'liberal.' He is a willful player in an epic drama of faux-politics, an operative for the money power, whose job is to neutralize the left with fear and distraction and then to pivot rightward and deliver a conservative result."

"Why the U.S. pays more for health care than the rest of the world [...] Other countries will say, here's the maximum price. Go ahead and compete below that. And in other countries, there's policy that you can charge a lot when you have a wonderful new technology, but as it gets older, that price has to keep coming down. And what we see in the United States, pretty much uniquely, is, as technologies get older, sometimes the price can go up, and can go up a lot. [...] In Japan, that same test would cost $100 to $150, because, in Japan, those prices have to go down over time. You can't say, wow, this was a great new technology 30 years ago, and so we're going to raise the price because it's even greater now. It's not. It's basically the same."
"Stay in a hospital, pay the CEO $56 a nightNorman Roth has a great job. He's the CEO of the relatively small Greenwich Hospital in southern Connecticut, and for each night patients stayed at his hospital in 2015, he got paid $56.40."
"The way forward for progressives" introduces an upcoming book:  "As previously noted, this work traces the way the Left fell prey to what we call the globalisation myth and formed the view that the state has become powerless (or severely constrained) in the face of the transnational movements of goods and services and capital flows. Social democratic politicians frequently opine that national economic policy must be acceptable to the global financial markets and, as a result, champion right-wing policies that compromise the well-being of their citizens.

The book traces both the history of this decline into neo-liberalism by the Left and also presents what might be called a 'Progressive Manifesto' to guide policy design and policy choices for progressive governments. We hope that the 'Manifesto' will empower community groups by demonstrating that the TINA mantra, where these alleged goals of the amorphous global financial markets are prioritised over real goals like full employment, renewable energy and revitalised manufacturing sectors is bereft and a range of policy options, now taboo in this neo-liberal world are available. In today's blog"
Last year, Gary Young went to "Middletown" to look at how America was experiencing the election up-close. His final dispatch was, "How Trump took middle America [...] But the issue was not simply about trade or globalisation:  to many voters in Muncie, Clinton looked not only like an integral part of the establishment that had brought them to this place, but like a candidate advocating more of the same. 'If you take a step back and look at all America has achieved over the past eight years, it's remarkable to see how far we've come,' Clinton argued. For many of those who already had their backs against the wall, it was hard to see the progress. Trump, on the other hand, offered the near certainty that something would change. 'At least he'll shake things up,' was the phrase that kept coming up. One in five of those who voted for him thought he didn't have the temperament to be president. For some who had little to lose, he was evidently a risk worth taking. 'The Democrats keep making out like everything is OK,' says Todd Smekens, the publisher of the progressive online magazine "Muncie Voice." 'And it's not. Nobody's buying it'."

The utility of cover stories explained concisely:

Cover Stories Are Used To Control Explanations

May 25, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts
Years ago James Jesus Angleton left me with the impression that when an intelligence agency, such as the CIA, pulls off an assassination, bombing, or any event with which the agency does not wish to be associated, the agency uses the media to control the explanation by quickly putting into place a cover story that, along with several others, has been prepared in advance. I suggested that the new story that “the Saudis did 9/11” was put into play to take the place of the worn and battered first cover story. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/07/20/is-the-saudi-911-story-part-of-the-deception-paul-craig-roberts/
When the Oswald cover story for JFK’s assassination came under heavy suspicion, (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/05/24/jfk-100-paul-craig-roberts/) other cover stories appeared in the media. One was that the Mafia killed JFK, because he was having affairs with their molls.
The fact that it made no sense did not stop many from believing it. It did not occur to people more gullible than thoughtful that a gangster would simply get another woman and not take the risk of assassinating the US president over a woman. The last thing the Mafia would want would be for Attorney General Robert Kennedy to bring the law down on the Mafia like a ton of bricks.
Another cover story was that Castro did it. This made even less sense. JFK had nixed the Joint Chiefs/CIA plan to invade Cuba, and he had refused air cover to the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion. JFK would certainly not be on Castro’s hit list.
Another cover story was that Lyndon Johnson was behind Kennedy’s assassination. As I wrote, there is no doubt that LBJ covered up the Joint Chiefs/CIA/Secret Service plot against JFK, as any president would have done, because the alternative was to destroy the American people’s confidence in the US military and security agencies. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court also covered up the plot, as did the Warren Commission, the media, and the Congress.
The “Johnson did it” story is the most preposterous of all. The Joint Chiefs, CIA, Secret Service, Chief Justice, Congress, and Media are not going to participate in the murder of a President and its coverup just for the sake of the VP’s personal ambition. The idea that so many strong institutions would permit a VP to murder a President for no reason other than the personal ambition of the VP is beyond absurdity.
Speaking of cover stories, I wonder if that is what we are witnessing in the leaked information to the New York Times about the Manchester Bombing. The only point of the leak is to set the story in place. The British complaints about the leaked information serve to disguise the leak’s purpose.
Setting a story in place early crowds out other explanations. Remember, the government claims to have had no warning of 9/11 but knew instantly who did it and set the story in place. The same for the Paris events, the Nice event, the Boston Marathon bombing, and I think all the others.
Authorities quickly come up with a story and names of those responsible. The alleged perpetrators or patsies, take your choice, are always dead and, thereby, unable to deny that they did it or say who put them up to it. The only exception that comes to mind is the younger brother who has been associated with the Boston Marathon bombing. Despite two police attempts to shoot him to death, he inconveniently survived, but has never been seen or heard from. As his orchestrated trial, his court appointed attorney confessed for him, and the jury convicted on her confession.
Remember, Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby before Oswald was questioned by police. There is no explanation for an armed private citizen being inside the jail with Oswald and positioned to shoot him at close range. Clearly, Oswald was not to be permitted to give his story. And no patsie since has either.
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JFK at 100


May 24, 2017
Paul Craig Roberts
This Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, (wa)s the 100th birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States.
JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as he approached the end of his third year in office. Researchers who spent years studying the evidence have concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. (See, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass.)

Kennedy entered office as a cold warrior, but he learned from his interaction with the CIA and Joint Chiefs that the military/security complex had an agenda that was self-interested and a danger to humanity. He began working to defuse tensions with the Soviet Union.

His rejections of plans to invade Cuba, of the Northwoods project, of a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and his intention to withdraw from Vietnam after his reelection, together with some of his speeches signaling a new approach to foreign policy in the nuclear age (see for example, https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BWC7I4C9QUmLG9J6I8oy8w.aspx), convinced the military/security complex that he was a threat to their interests. Cold War conservatives regarded him as naive about the Soviet Threat and a liability to US national security. These were the reasons for his assassination. These views were set in stone when Kennedy announced on June 10, 1963, negotiations with the Soviets toward a nuclear test ban treaty and a halt to US atmospheric nuclear tests.

The Oswald coverup story never made any sense and was contradicted by all evidence including tourist films of the assassination. President Johnson had ro cover up the assassination, not because he was part of it or because he willfully wanted to deceive the American people, but because to give Americans the true story would have shaken their confidence in their government at a critical time in US-Soviet relations. To make the coverup succeed, Johnson needed the credibility of the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to chair the commission that covered up the assassination. Warren understood the devastating impact the true story would have on the public and their confidence in the military and national security leadership and on America’s allies.

As I previously reported, Lance deHaven-Smith in his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, shows that the CIA introduced “conspiracy theory” into the political lexicon as a technique to discredit skepticism of the Warren Commission’s coverup report. He provides the CIA document that describes how the agency used its media friends to control the explanation.
The term “conspiracy theory” has been used ever since to validate false explanations by discrediting true explanations.

President Kennedy was also determined to require the Israel Lobby to register as a foreign agent and to block Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. His assassination removed the constraints on Israel’s illegal activities. (http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html )

Memorial Day is when Americans honor those in the armed services who died serving the country. JFK fell while serving the causes of peace and nuclear disarmament. In a 1961 address to the United Nations, President Kennedy said:

“Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us. It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race – to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.”
Kennedy’s address was well received at home and abroad and received a favorable and supportive response from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but it caused consternation among the warhawks in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The US led in terms of the number of nuclear warheads and delivery systems, and this lead was the basis for US military plans for a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. (http://prospect.org/article/did-us-military-plan-nuclear-first-strike-1963 ) Also, many believed that nuclear disarmament would remove the obstacle to the Soviet Army overrunning Western Europe. Warhawks considered this a greater threat than nuclear armageddon. Many in high military circles regarded President Kennedy as weakening the US viv-a-vis the Soviet Union.

The assassination of President Kennedy was an enormous cost to the world. Kennedy and Khrushchev would have followed up their collaboration in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis by ending the Cold War long before the military/security complex achieved its iron grip on the US government. Israel would have been denied nuclear weapons, and the designation of the Israel Lobby as a foreign agent would have prevented Israel’s strong grip on the US government. In his second term, JFK would have broken the CIA into a thousand pieces, an intention he expressed to his brother, Robert, and the Deep State would have been terminated before it became more powerful than the President.

But the military/security complex struck first, and pulled off a coup that voided all these promises and terminated American democracy.
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Having trouble finding good historical false flag information?

It seems to be falling out of the ether now.

8) The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950's to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.
(9) The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece - also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey - and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence.
(10) The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change.
(11) The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people's support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism. As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated:  "You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security" (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special. They also allegedly carried out terror attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, and other countries.
17) The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 ... manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war.
(18) A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that - as part of its "Cointelpro" campaign - the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activities.
(22) A Mossad agent admits that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi's compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter.
(28) Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion).
(29) As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the "war on terror".
(30)  At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying "iron bars inside the police station".  Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently  admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.
(31) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks - as shown by a memo from the defense secretary - as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime, that Cheney "probably" had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not 'doing their homework' in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil ... not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous "lone wolf" claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).

(32) Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more U.S. government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country.

(33) According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
(34) The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings.

(35) Police outside of a 2003 European Union summit in Greece were filmed planting Molotov cocktails on a peaceful protester

(36) Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having "our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda's ranks, causing operatives to doubt others' identities and to question the validity of communications."

(37) Similarly, in 2005, Professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School - a renowned US defense analyst credited with developing the concept of 'netwar' - called for western intelligence services to create new "pseudo gang" terrorist groups, as a way of undermining "real" terror networks. According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, Arquilla's 'pseudo-gang' strategy was, Hersh reported, already being implemented by the Pentagon:

"Under Rumsfeld's new approach, I was told, US military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists ...
The new rules will enable the Special Forces community to set up what it calls 'action teams' in the target countries overseas which can be used to find and eliminate terrorist organizations.
'Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?' the former high-level intelligence official asked me, referring to the military-led gangs that committed atrocities in the early nineteen-eighties. 'We founded them and we financed them,' he said. 'The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren't going to tell Congress about it.' A former military officer, who has knowledge of the Pentagon's commando capabilities, said, 'We're going to be riding with the bad boys.'" 
(40) Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).
(41) A 2008 US Army special operations field manual recommends that the U.S. military use surrogate non-state groups such as "paramilitary forces, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistant or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political 'undesirables.'" The manual specifically acknowledged that U.S. special operations can involve both counterterrorism and "Terrorism" (as well as "transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms-dealing, and illegal financial transactions.")
(42)  The former head of Secret Services and Head of State of Italy (Francesco Cossiga) advised the 2008 minister in charge of the police, on how to deal with protests from teachers and students:
He should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior ... infiltrate the movement with agents provocateurs inclined to do anything .... And after that, with the strength of the gained population consent,  ... beat them for blood and beat for blood also those teachers that incite them. Especially the teachers. Not the elderly, of course, but the girl teachers yes.
(43) At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence.
(44) Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters.

(45) Rioters who discredited the peaceful protests against the swearing in of the Mexican president in 2012 admitted that they were paid 300 pesos each to destroy everything in their path. According to Wikipedia, photos also show the vandals waiting in groups behind police lines prior to the violence.
(46) A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat.
(47) On November 20, 2014, Mexican agent provocateurs were transported by army vehicles to participate in the 2014 Iguala mass kidnapping protests, as was shown by videos and pictures distributed via social networks.
(48) The highly-respected writer for the "Telegraph," Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence - Prince Bandar - recently admitted that the Saudi government controls "Chechen" terrorists.
(49) High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government - a fellow NATO country - carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government.
(50) The Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others. Ukrainian officials admit that the Ukrainian snipers fired on both sides, to create maximum chaos.
(51) Britain's spy agency has admitted (and see this) that it carries out "digital false flag" attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material ... and blaming it on the target.
(52) U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then "drop" automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants.
(53) Similarly, police frame innocent people for crimes they didn't commit. The practice is so well-known that the New York Times noted in 1981:

In police jargon, a throwdown is a weapon planted on a victim.
54) A former U.S. intelligence officer recently alleged:
Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.
(55) The head and special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by the CIA and FBI as false flags.  Similarly, the director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan - Lt. General William Odom said:
By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In '78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism - in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.
(audio here).
(56) Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the "benefits" of of false flags to justify their political agenda:
"Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death".
- Adolph Hitler
"Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
"The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened".
- Josef Stalin
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And it's all over waaaay too soon.






And we loved him for it.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Embarrassed Enough Yet? It Was a Good Plan  (Calling Roger Stone!)  Please, Drink the Koolaid (Really. It's Not Soma)  There Is No Such Thing As Cyber Security  (Pig Poop Fills the Sinuses)



First off, in self defense, seriously consider this:

Truth Has Become Un-American


That peace with Russia and China would undermine the justification of the $1,000 billion military/security budget, and that the military/security complex is the American government, is too much truth for most writers to state.

Truth is the most rare element in the Western world, and we will not be permitted to have much of it much longer. Increasingly, truth is difficult to find. Soak it up while it is still available.

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert explain all the rest of the confusing MSM (mainstream media) news to helpless bystanders in order to aid us in getting our wobbly feet back on solid ground.

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If China Can Fund infrastructure with Its Own Credit, So Can We

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The deep state's decision in ancient Rome — dominated by a bloated military and a corrupt oligarchy, much like the United States of 2017 — to strangle the vain and idiotic Emperor Commodus in his bath in the year 192 did not halt the growing chaos and precipitous decline of the Roman Empire.
Commodus, like a number of other late Roman emperors, and like President Trump, was incompetent and consumed by his own vanity. He commissioned innumerable statues of himself as Hercules and had little interest in governance.

He used his position as head of state to make himself the star of his own ongoing public show. He fought victoriously as a gladiator in the arena in fixed bouts. Power for Commodus, as it is for Trump, was primarily about catering to his bottomless narcissism, hedonism and lust for wealth. He sold public offices so the ancient equivalents of Betsy DeVos and Steve Mnuchin could orchestrate a vast kleptocracy.

Commodus was replaced by the reformer Pertinax, the Bernie Sanders of his day, who attempted in vain to curb the power of the Praetorian Guards, the ancient version of the military-industrial complex. This effort saw the Praetorian Guards assassinate Pertinax after he was in power only three months. The Guards then auctioned off the office of emperor to the highest bidder. The next emperor, Didius Julianus, lasted 66 days. There would be five emperors in A.D. 193, the year after the assassination of Commodus. Trump and our decaying empire have ominous historical precedents. If the deep state replaces Trump, whose ineptitude and imbecility are embarrassing to the empire, that action will not restore our democracy any more than replacing Commodus restored democracy in Rome. Our republic is dead.

Societies that once were open and had democratic traditions are easy prey for the enemies of democracy. These demagogues pay deference to the patriotic ideals, rituals, practices and forms of the old democratic political system while dismantling it. When the Roman Emperor Augustus — he referred to himself as the “first citizen” — neutered the republic, he was careful to maintain the form of the old republic. Lenin and the Bolsheviks did the same when they seized and crushed the autonomous soviets. Even the Nazis and the Stalinists insisted they ruled democratic states. Thomas Paine wrote that despotic government is a fungus that grows out of a corrupt civil society. This is what happened to these older democracies. It is what happened to us.

Our constitutional rights — due process, habeas corpus, privacy, a fair trial, freedom from exploitation, fair elections and dissent — have been taken from us by judicial fiat. These rights exist only in name. The vast disconnect between the purported values of the state and reality renders political discourse absurd.

Corporations, cannibalizing the federal budget, legally empower themselves to exploit and pillage. It is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. The pharmaceutical and insurance industries can hold sick children hostage while their parents bankrupt themselves trying to save their sons or daughters. Those burdened by student loans can never wipe out the debt by declaring bankruptcy. In many states, those who attempt to publicize the conditions in the vast factory farms where diseased animals are warehoused for slaughter can be charged with a criminal offense. Corporations legally carry out tax boycotts.

Companies have orchestrated free trade deals that destroy small farmers and businesses and deindustrialize the country. Labor unions and government agencies designed to protect the public from contaminated air, water and food and from usurious creditors and lenders have been defanged. The Supreme Court, in an inversion of rights worthy of George Orwell, defines unlimited corporate contributions to electoral campaigns as a right to petition the government or a form of free speech. Much of the press, owned by large corporations, is an echo chamber for the elites. State and city enterprises and utilities are sold to corporations that hike rates and deny services to the poor. The educational system is being slowly privatized and turned into a species of vocational training.

Wages are stagnant or have declined. Unemployment and underemployment — masked by falsified statistics — have thrust half the country into chronic poverty. Social services are abolished in the name of austerity. Culture and the arts have been replaced by sexual commodification, banal entertainment and graphic depictions of violence. The infrastructure, neglected and underfunded, is collapsing. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, arrests, food shortages and untreated illnesses that lead to early death plague a harried underclass. The desperate flee into an underground economy dominated by drugs, crime and human trafficking. The state, rather than address the economic misery, militarizes police departments and empowers them to use lethal force against unarmed civilians. It fills the prisons with 2.3 million citizens, only a tiny percentage of whom had a trial. One million prisoners work for corporations inside prisons as modern-day slaves.

The amendments of the Constitution, designed to protect the citizen from tyranny, are meaningless. The Fourth Amendment, for example, reads:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The reality is that our telephone calls, emails, texts and financial, judicial and medical records, along with every website we visit and our physical travels, are tracked, recorded and stored in perpetuity in government computer banks.

The state tortures, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantanamo Bay, but also in supermax ADX [administrative maximum] facilities such as the one at Florence, Colo., where inmates suffer psychological breakdowns from prolonged solitary confinement. Prisoners, although they are citizens, endure around-the-clock electronic monitoring and 23-hour-a-day lockdowns. They undergo extreme sensory deprivation. They endure beatings. They must shower and go to the bathroom on camera. They can write only one letter a week to one relative and cannot use more than three pieces of paper. They often have no access to fresh air and take their one hour of daily recreation in a huge cage that resembles a treadmill for hamsters.

The state uses “special administrative measures,” known as SAMs, to strip prisoners of their judicial rights. SAMs restrict prisoners’ communication with the outside world. They end calls, letters and visits with anyone except attorneys and sharply limit contact with family members. Prisoners under SAMs are not permitted to see most of the evidence against them because of a legal provision called the Classified Information Procedures Act, or CIPA. CIPA, begun under the Reagan administration, allows evidence in a trial to be classified and withheld from those being prosecuted. You can be tried and convicted, like Joseph K. in Franz Kafka’s “The Trial,” without ever seeing the evidence used to find you guilty. Under SAMs, it is against the law for those who have contact with an inmate — including attorneys — to speak about his or her physical and psychological conditions.

And when prisoners are released, they have lost the right to vote and receive public assistance and are burdened with fines that, if unpaid, will put them back behind bars. They are subject to arbitrary searches and arrests. They spend the rest of their lives marginalized as members of a vast criminal caste.

The executive branch of government has empowered itself to assassinate U.S. citizens. It can call the Army into the streets to quell civil unrest under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which ended a prohibition on the military acting as a domestic police force. The executive branch can order the military to seize U.S. citizens deemed to be terrorists or associated with terrorists. This is called “extraordinary rendition.” Those taken into custody by the military can be denied due process and habeas corpus rights and held indefinitely in military facilities. Activists and dissidents, whose rights were once protected under the First Amendment, can face indefinite incarceration.

Constitutionally protected statements, beliefs and associations are criminalized. The state assumed the power to detain and prosecute people not for what they have done, or even for what they are planning to do, but for holding religious or political beliefs that the state deems seditious. The first of those targeted have been observant Muslims, but they will not be the last.

What could the word from on high be?

Steal early, often and make them sue you to get the money back?

Bill Gates has a message for every college grad who wants to change the world
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. . . the “soft coup” would have to be carried out under the guise of a serious investigation into something grave enough to justify the President’s removal, a removal that could be accomplished by congressional impeachment, his forced resignation, or the application of Twenty-fifth Amendment, which allows the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to judge a President incapable of continuing in office (although that could require two-thirds votes by both houses of Congress if the President fights the maneuver).

A Big Enough ‘Scandal’

That is where Russia-gate comes in. The gauzy allegation that Trump and/or his advisers somehow colluded with Russian intelligence officials to rig the 2016 election would probably clear the threshold for an extreme action like removing a President.

And, given the determination of many key figures in the Establishment to get rid of Trump, it should come as no surprise that no one seems to care that no actual government-verified evidence has been revealed publicly to support any of the Russia-gate allegations.


There’s not even any public evidence from U.S. government agencies that Russia did “meddle” in the 2016 election or – even if Russia did slip Democratic emails to WikiLeaks (which WikiLeaks denies) – there has been zero evidence that the scheme resulted from collusion with Trump’s campaign.

The FBI has been investigating these suspicions for at least nine months, even reportedly securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Carter Page, an American whom Trump briefly claimed as a foreign policy adviser when Trump was under fire for not having any foreign policy advisers.

One of Page’s alleged offenses was that he gave a speech to an academic conference in Moscow in July 2016 that was mildly critical of how the U.S. treated countries from the former Soviet Union. He also once lived in Russia and apparently met with a Russian diplomat who – apparently unbeknownst to Page – had been identified by the U.S. government as a Russian intelligence officer.

It appears that is enough, in these days of our New McCarthyism, to get an American put under a powerful counter-intelligence investigation.

The FBI and the Department of Justice also reportedly are including as part of the Russia-gate investigation Trump’s stupid campaign joke calling on the Russians to help find the tens of thousands of emails that Clinton erased from the home server that she used while Secretary of State.

On July 27, 2016, Trump said, apparently in jest, “I will tell you this, Russia: if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

The comment fit with Trump’s puckish, provocative and often tasteless sense of humor, but was seized on by Democrats as if it were a serious suggestion – as if anyone would use a press conference to seriously urge something like that. But it now appears that the FBI is grabbing at any straw that might support its investigation.

The (U.K.) Guardian reported this week that “Senior DoJ officials have declined to release the documents [about Trump’s comment] on grounds that such disclosure could ‘interfere with enforcement proceedings’. In a filing to a federal court in Washington DC, the DoJ states that ‘because of the existence of an active, ongoing investigation, the FBI anticipates that it will … withhold all records’.

“The statement suggests that Trump’s provocative comment last July is being seen by the FBI as relevant to its own ongoing investigation.”

The NYT’s Accusations

On Friday, in the wake of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and the President’s characterization of Russia-gate as “a total hoax,” The New York Times reprised what it called “The Trump-Russia Nexus” in a lead editorial trying to make the case of some fire behind the smoke.

Though the Times acknowledges that there are “many unknowns” in Russia-gate and the Times can’t seem to find any evidence of collusion, such as slipping a Russian data stick to WikiLeaks, the Times nevertheless treats a host of Trump advisers and family members as traitors because they’ve had some association with Russian officials, Russian businesses or Russian allies.

Regarding Carter Page, the Times wrote:  “American officials believe that Mr. Page, a foreign policy adviser, had contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign. He also gave a pro-Russia speech in Moscow in July 2016. Mr. Page was once employed by Merrill Lynch’s Moscow office, where he worked with Gazprom, a government-owned giant.”

You might want to let some of those words sink in, especially the part about Page giving “a pro-Russia speech in Moscow,” which has been cited as one of the principal reasons for Page and his communications being targeted under a FISA warrant.

I’ve actually read Page’s speech and to call it “pro-Russia” is a wild exaggeration. It was a largely academic treatise that faulted the West’s post-Cold War treatment of the nations formed from the old Soviet Union, saying the rush to a free-market system led to some negative consequences, such as the spread of corruption.

But even if the speech were “pro-Russia,” doesn’t The New York Times respect the quaint American notion of free speech? Apparently not. If your carefully crafted words can be twisted into something called “pro-Russia,” the Times seems to think it’s okay to have the National Security Agency bug your phones and read your emails.

The Ukraine Case

Another Times’ target was veteran political adviser Paul Manafort, who is accused of working as “a consultant for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and for Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by the Kremlin.”

Left out of that Times formulation is the fact that the Ukrainian political party, which had strong backing from ethnic Russian Ukrainians — not just Russia – competed in a democratic process and that Yanukovych won an election that was recognized by international observers as free and fair.

Yanukovych was then ousted in February 2014 in a violent putsch that was backed by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. The putsch, which was spearheaded by right-wing nationalists and even neo-Nazis, touched off Ukraine’s civil war and the secession of Crimea, the key events in the escalation of today’s New Cold War between NATO and Russia.

Though I’m no fan of U.S. political hired-guns selling their services in foreign elections, there was nothing illegal or even unusual about Manafort advising a Ukrainian political party. What arguably was much more offensive was the U.S. support for an unconstitutional coup that removed Yanukovych even after he agreed to a European plan for early elections so he could be voted out of office peacefully.

But the Times, the Post and virtually the entire Western mainstream media sided with the Ukrainian coup-makers and hailed Yanukovych’s overthrow. That attitude has become such a groupthink that the Times has banished the thought that there was a coup.

Still, the larger political problem confronting the United States is that the neoconservatives and their junior partners, the liberal interventionists, now control nearly all the levers of U.S. foreign policy. That means they can essentially dictate how events around the world will be perceived by most Americans.

The neocons and the liberal hawks also want to continue their open-ended wars in the Middle East by arranging the commitment of additional U.S. military forces to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – and perhaps a new confrontation with Iran.

Early in Obama’s second term, it became clear to the neocons that Russia was becoming the chief obstacles to their plans because President Barack Obama was working closely with President Vladimir Putin on a variety of projects that undermined neocon hopes for more war.

Particularly, Putin helped Obama secure an agreement from Syria to surrender its chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013 and to get Iran to accept tight constraints on its nuclear program in 2014. In both cases, the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks were lusting for war.

Immediately after the Syria chemical-weapons deal in September 2013, key U.S. neocons began focusing on Ukraine as what National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman called “the biggest prize” and a first step toward unseating Putin in Moscow.

Gershman’s grant-giving NED stepped up its operations inside Ukraine while Assistant Secretary Nuland, the wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan, began pushing for regime change in Kiev (along with other neocons, including Sen. John McCain).

The Ukraine coup in 2014 drove a geopolitical wedge between Obama and Putin, since the Russian president couldn’t just stand by when a virulently anti-Russian regime took power violently in Ukraine, which was the well-worn route for invasions into Russia and housed Russia’s Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol in Crimea.

Rather than defend the valuable cooperation provided by Putin, Obama went with the political flow and joined in the Russia-bashing as key neocons raised their sights and put Putin in the crosshairs.

An Unexpected Obstacle

For the neocons in 2016, there also was the excited expectation of a Hillary Clinton presidency to give more momentum to the expensive New Cold War. But then Trump, who had argued for a new détente with Russia, managed to eke out an Electoral College win.

Perhaps Trump could have diffused some of the hostility toward him but his narcissistic personality stopped him from extending an olive branch to the tens of millions of Americans who opposed him. He further demonstrated his political incompetence by wasting his first days in office making ridiculous claims about the size of his inaugural crowds and disputing the fact that he had lost the popular vote.

Widespread public disgust over his behavior contributed to the determination of many Americans to “resist” his presidency at all junctures and at all costs.

Russia-gate, the hazy suggestion that Putin put Trump in the White House and that Trump is a Putin “puppet” (as Clinton claimed), became the principal weapon to use in destroying Trump’s presidency.

However, besides the risks to U.S. stability that would come from an Establishment-driven “soft coup,” there is the additional danger of ratcheting up tensions so high with nuclear-armed Russia that this extreme Russia-bashing takes on a life – or arguably many, many deaths – of its own.

Which is why America now might need a piercing satire of today’s Russia-phobia or at least a revival of the Cold War classic, “Dr. Strangelove,” subtitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Watergate Redux or ‘Deep State’ Coup.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from barnesandnoble.com
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Even if Stone wasn’t sat at the centre of what is potentially the biggest political scandal in American history, he would still be deserving of a documentary profile. This, after all, is the man who journalist Jeffrey Toobin describes as “the sinister Forrest Gump of American politics”. Stone has had a perma-tanned hand in just about every nefarious deed carried out by the forces of the American conservative movement in the past half century, from Watergate right up to the election of perhaps the least qualified man in history to hold the office of US president. He also practically invented the modern political attack ad and engaged in the dirtiest of dirty tricks. There’s a reason Stone has the acquired the eye-opening nickname, “Ratfucker”.
Even more remarkable than that soubriquet is the fact that Stone has carried out this reign of terror not in the manner of a shadowy Koch-brothers-style figure, but as someone who gleefully courts press, positive or otherwise. A “bodybuilding dandy” (another excellent Toobin description) with a taste for loud suits and even louder media appearances – not to mention a tattoo of Nixon’s disembodied head on the square of his back – Stone is the sort of extrovert figure that documentarians pray to their altar of Errol Morris DVDs to one day get to make a film about.
Stone and his notorious Richard Nixon tattoo.

The danger then for directors Dylan Bank and Daniel DiMauro is that they treat Stone as a docu-curiosity rather than subjecting him, and the craven political culture he has brought about, to proper scrutiny. The engrossing "Get Me Roger Stone" avoids this pitfall, just about. Certainly there are plenty of scenes of Stone pontificating to camera – and far too many shots of him shirtless – but there’s also a thorough history of Stone’s many misdeeds, from encouraging a riot at a polling station central to Al Gore’s chances of winning a recount vote in the contested 2000 election, to his lobbying group Black, Manafort and Stone’s representation of genocidal dictators across the globe. (Yes, the Manafort there is Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager and another individual whose links with Russia are being thoroughly pored over at present.)
Providing context to this sea of misdemeanours is an impressive range of talking heads from across the political spectrum. One one side there’s lifelong Stone sceptics like Toobin and investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, who did more than most to expose Stone’s wrongdoings and who passed away earlier this year. (Stone marked Barrett’s passing with a tweet urging him to “rot in hell,” proof if any were needed that he was that rare figure who truly got Stone worked up.) On the other, conservative commentators like Tucker Carlson, plus Stone acolytes like Manafort, and in a rather impressive get – though perhaps not, given his addiction to self-publicity – the current president of the United States.
It’s fair to say that without Roger Stone, you don’t get President Trump. Stone boarded the Trump train as early as the 1980s and encouraged the business mogul to run for political office several times before last year’s presidential bid. It’s that campaign that makes up the final third of this documentary, providing an extended look at just how central Stone was to Trump’s eventual success.

Officially Stone left the campaign in 2015, after a falling-out with then-campaign manager Cory Lewandowski. In reality though, he remained a not-so silent partner all the way through to Trump’s eventual victory, denouncing the Donald’s opponents on live TV, spreading wild conspiracy theories about Hillary and Bill Clinton on Alex Jones’s grotesque Infowars network and generally making as much of a nuisance of himself as possible. It all culminates here in the grim spectacle of election night, and Trump’s final triumph, toasted by Stone and Jones in the Infowars studio.
The . . . problem with "Get Me Roger Stone" is the queasy realisation at the end of it that Stone himself would revel in the fact that so many people will be watching and seething silently at this documentary. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, after all.

Inside dope on that unfortunate NSA whoopsie?

There is no such thing as cyber security. The only choice is more security or less security, as the recent hack of the National Security Agency demonstrates.

Hackers stole from NSA a cyber weapon, which has been used in attacks (at time of writing) on 150 countries, shutting down elements of the British National Health Service, the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, automakers Renault and Nissan, Russia’s Interior Ministry, Federal Express, the energy company PetroChina, and many more.

The news spin is to not blame NSA for its carelessness, but to blame Microsoft users for not updating their systems with a patch issued two months ago. But the important questions have not been asked:  What was the NSA doing with such malware and why did NSA not inform Microsoft of the malware?

Clearly, NSA intended to use the cyber weapon against some country or countries. Why else have it and keep it a secret from Microsoft?

Was it to be used to shut down Russian and Chinese systems prior to launching a nuclear first strike against the countries? Congress should be asking this question as it is certain that the Russian and Chinese governments are. As I previously reported, the Russian High Command has already concluded that Washington is preparing a nuclear first strike against Russia, and so has China.

It is extremely dangerous that two nuclear powers have this expectation. This danger has received no attention from Washington and its NATO vassals.

Microsoft president Brad Smith likened the theft of the NSA’s cyber weapon to “the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.” In other words, with cyber weapons, as with nuclear weapons and short warning times, things can go wrong in a big way. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39915440

What if the hackers had successfully attacked the Russian Ministry of Defense or radar warning systems, would the Russian High Command have concluded that the cyber attack was Washington’s prelude to incoming ICBMs?

The fact that no one in Washington or any Western government has stepped forward to reassure the Russian government and demand the removal of the US missile bases surrounding Russia indicates a level of hubris or denial that is beyond comprehension.

In my May 12 posting I wrote:  “The costs of the digital revolution exceed its benefits by many times. The digital revolution rivals nuclear weapons as the most catastrophic technology of our time.” In response, Robert Henderson wrote to me from England that he had addressed the enormous costs of the digital revolution in 2010. Here is the link to his article, “Men and Machines:  Which is Master Which is Slave?” https://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/men-and-machines-which-is-master-which-is-slave/

Reading his article will raise your awareness. When you add up the vast financial costs, the depersonalization of human relationships, and the complete loss of individual privacy and security, the benefit of being connected is vastly outweighed by the costs.

Paper files are far more secure. Malware cannot be introduced into them. To steal a person’s information required knowing the location of the information, breaking into the building, searching file cabinets for the information, and copying the information. To intercept a voice communication required a warrant to wiretap a specific telephone line
People born into a world where the ease of communication comes at the price of the loss of autonomy never experience privacy. They are unaware that a foundation of liberty has been lost.

In our era of controlled print and TV media, the digital revolution serves for now as a check on the ruling elite’s ability to control explanations. However, the same technology that currently permits alternative explanations can be used to prevent them
Indeed, efforts to discredit and to limit non-approved explanations are already underway.

The enemies of truth have a powerful weapon in the digital revolution and can use it to herd humanity into a tyrannical distopia.
The digital revolution even has its own Memory Hole. Files stored electronically by older technology can no longer be accessed as they exist in an outdated electronic format that cannot be opened by current systems in use.

Humans are proving to be the most stupid of the life forms. They create weapons that cannot be used without destroying themselves. They create robots and free trade myths that take away their jobs. They create information technology that destroys their liberty.

Dystopias tend to be permanent. The generations born into them never know any different, and the control mechanisms are total
And the digital screen serves as Soma.

So, drink up?