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naked capitalism links
THE FOURTH TURNING
Why Progressives Hate Steve Bannon's Cyclical View Of History
Whether they realize it or not, progressives borrow their entire worldview from Christianity, and therefore have a fundamentally millenarian view of history. The idea of cycles makes them uncomfortable.
WBUR On Point
Steve Bannon is a big fan of “The Fourth Turning” and its dark message of political upheaval.
Steve Bannon’s Apocalyptic ‘Unravelling’
Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon sees apocalyptic days ahead, a harsh winter before society’s renewal.
Neil Howe: Peak Prosperity
Fourth turnings are characterized by a growing demand for social order
yet supply of it remains weak. So we now have a demand for order and no supply. That creates the unusual dynamics of a fourth turning -- kind of like we had in the 1930’s. People suddenly feel that no one is in control and that enormous events are overtaking their society which no one of leadership age has any idea how to confront or how to manage
Burning Platform, Part 1
The catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning was the 2008 financial crisis
Burning Platform, Part 2
Who will lead the country during the second half of this Fourth Turning Crisis.
Burning Platform, Part 3
Economic distress is likely to be the driving force in next phase of this Crisis
CORPORATIONS MUST BE CURBED
Real News Network
US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Chevron Pollution Case
Steven Donziger, the lawyer representing affected indigenous communities in Ecuador, calls this "the probably the most outrageous act of industrial pollution in history related to oil."
Truthout, Noam Chomsky
How the System Is Rigged to Ensure That Corporations Always Win
In this book excerpt, we present here Chomsky’s Principle #6: Running the Regulators.
Sending Jobs Overseas
Once a complex manufacturing process could be supervised from afar, it could be broken up into the simplest constituent tasks, and those could be done almost anywhere. Corporations could play governments off against one another. Globalisation is not about nations. It is not about products. And it has not been about people for a long time. No, it is about tasks“
After independence, the US Congress perceived corporations as threats to democracy
and determined never to allow them to have such power again. Laws were passed that restricted the granting of corporate charters to companies only if they guaranteed to perform a public service. No company was allowed to purchase another. On average, charters were limited to ten years. After that, as a condition for renewing its charter, each corporation had to prove that it had in fact served the public and guarantee that it would continue to do so.
Charles Hugh Smith
The Plantation Economy is a mono-culture of large corporations and their partner, the state.
Our economy is a state-cartel finance-debt system; it's only capitalist on the margins, that is, in the fringes that aren't profitable enough for corporations to control.
Charles Hugh Smith
Wal-Mart is the quintessential plantation in the U.S. and global economies.
Like a classic agricultural-commodity plantation, Wal-Mart enters a region and market with a diverse, employment-rich ecology of small businesses and networked supply chains of local and regional manufacturers and distributors, and it bulldozes the entire "forest" of businesses, suppliers and distributors with the irresistable blade of global supply chains and "lower prices, always."
Personhood' is not synonymous with 'humans.'
A 'person' is the law's way of saying that entity has the capacity for rights.
American corporations have all the rights of citizens, but none of the responsibilities
The first step is not to make corporations better citizens, but to roll back the “super-citizen” status that corporations currently enjoy. That would be a huge step, and this is what “conscious capitalism” basically aspires to: persuading corporations to follow the damn laws of a democracy, just as we regular citizens have to. The problem is that corporations will never embrace the laws of democracy. History proves that they systematically avoid, buy off, rewrite or break the laws written by humans.
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people with free speech rights
and can spend unlimited amounts of their money in our elections. And as a result, we now see effectively a corporate takeover of our democracy.
It quickly became clear that toppling Saddam wasn’t the U.S.’ only goal.
The powers taking control of the Iraqi government were also seeking control of the country’s agriculture industry. One order, in particular, had a crippling effect on Iraq’s centuries-long farming and seed cultivation traditions. Order 81 — the Patents, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety Law — gave those who hold patents on certain plant varieties absolute rights over the use of their seeds in Iraq for 20 years. at 22:56
THE FRACTURED DEMOCRATS
“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
I think the two parties are already being remade.
“Rising regionalism and nationalism around the world could lead to the fragmentation of major political entities … and the outbreak of hostilities.”
Two Wings of the Democratic Party
1. Democrats (Neoliberals, Neocons, Globalists) led by Hillary & Obama
2. Democratic socialists (Single payer, free college, trade reform) led by Bernie Sanders
Listen Liberal: The broken two party political system
Thomas Frank asserts that the two political parties dominated by societal elites have systemically failed the workers in America, resulting in a space for populism to naturally grow into.
What to Make of the Age of Trump
This is Hell
The Democratic Party represents a class. | Thomas Frank
It is a class party, and they act on that class's behalf and they act in that class's interests and they serve that class. And they have adopted all the tastes and manners and ideology... It's just that class is not the working class. It's not the middle class. It's the professional class - affluent, white-collar elites. They can't see what they're doing. This is invisible to them, because it's who they are.
The real division in American politics today is no longer right or left,
THE FRACTURED REPUBLICANS
Why is the GOP sticking with Trump?
The legal arm of the conservative movement is probably the best organized, most far-reaching and far-seeing sector of the Right. They truly are in it — and have been in it — for the long game. Control the Supreme Court, stack the judiciary, and you can stop the progressive movement, no matter how popular it is, no matter how much legislative power it has, for decades.
Five Wings of the GOP | Duran
1. The Old Right (typified by Robert Taft and Pat Buchanan)
2. The Goldwater Right (at times typified by Ronald Reagan)
3. Neo-conservatives (they like Israel and lots of war)
4. Libertarians (Ron and Rand Paul: anti-interventionist, anti-war, protectionist, and deregulated markets
5. The Trump Wing (Nationalists-Populists) | FiveThirtyEight
James Petras website
Nixon's policies were more socially progressive, less militarist and less servile to Wall Street
than any and all of the subsequent US Presidents. This assessment is heresy to the current historical narratives promoted by both political parties and the corporate media-academic nexus.
What’s Bannonism? | FiveThirtyEight
The former Breitbart editor opposes broad international trade agreements and favors an adversarial relationship between the Trump administration and the news media, as well as between the administration and the federal bureaucracy. He wants very tough policies on illegal immigration, has called for limiting refugees from the Middle East from coming to the U.S., and has expressed deep concerns about the rise of Islam, both at home and abroad
America is in a crisis of governance. No adult is in charge.
the Republicans who now control the House, as well as the Senate, don’t like government. They’re temperamentally and ideologically oriented to opposing it, not leading it. Their chronic incapacity to govern didn’t reveal itself as long as a Democrat was in the White House. They let President Barack Obama try to govern and pretended that their opposition was based on a different philosophy of governing. Now that they have a Republican president, they can no longer hide. They have no philosophy of governing at all.
Trump’s Choice: Populism or Corporatism
but rather between populism and an increasingly dominant corporate ruling class. This division is obvious within the Trump administration, elected on a nationalist and populist program but increasingly tilting toward a more corporatist orientation.
FIX THE MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM
The Market Ticker
A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue
"Notwithstanding any other provision in state or federal law, a person who presents themselves while uninsured to any provider of a medical good or service shall not be charged a price greater than that which Medicare pays for the same drug, device, service or combination thereof."
Beat the Press
George Will's Misdiagnosis of U.S. Health Care Costs
The reason our health care costs have risen so much more rapidly than anywhere else is not Baumol's disease. Health care is a service everywhere, not just in the United States. The difference stems from the fact that doctors, insurers, drug companies, and medical equipment makers are far more capable of controlling the political process in the United States than in these other countries. They use their political power to restrict competition and get government subsidies.
The Market Ticker
The Bill To Permanently Fix Health Care For All
A modest proposal. Point one: “All providers must post, in their offices and on a public web site without any requirement to sign in or otherwise identify oneself to access it, a full and complete price list which shall apply to every person”. Point two: “All customers must be billed for actual charges at the same price on a direct basis at the time the service or product is rendered to them”. Point three: “For a bill to be valid and collectible it must be affirmatively consented to in writing”
Medical systems is a hostage racket
By “racket” I mean a criminal enterprise. There are only two plausible arcs to this story. One is that the nation might face the facts and resort to the Single Payer system found in virtually every other nation that pretends to be civilized. There is no other way to eliminate the deliberate racketeering. The other outcome would be the inevitable collapse of the system and its eventual re-set to a much less complex, cash-on-the-barrelhead, local clinic-based model.
Democrats Against Single Payer
The push for “Medicare for All,” one high-profile liberal pundit tells us, is simply based in “outrage that private insurers get to play any role,” and aims to “punish or demonize insurance companies.” Oh and by the way, it’ll “never, ever come to pass” anyway, according to the Democratic Party’s former standard-bearer. How times have changed.
New York Times
The Case for Medicare for All
“Single-payer national health insurance, also known as ‘Medicare for all,’ is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands.”
World Socialist Web
A socialist policy for universal health care
The capitalist principle of for-profit health care must be ended. Working people must take the position that health care is a social right—along with education, housing, employment, retirement and access to culture—not a privilege reserved for the wealthy, and must be provided to all free of charge.
Beat the Press
New Health Care Plan: Open Source Drugs, Immigrant Doctors, and a Public Option
Now that the Republican health care plan has been sent to the dust bin of history, it’s worth thinking about how Obamacare can be improved. While the ACA was a huge step forward in extending insurance coverage, many of the complaints against the program are justified. The co-pays and deductibles can mean the plans are of little use to middle income people with relatively low bills. at 06:30
FOREIGN POLICY AND ANTI-WAR
We Are Inches From A New World War, And Clintonists Are To Blame
Clintonists have been working tirelessly since the election to manufacture these new Cold War tensions. Stephen Cohen, easily America’s foremost authority on US-Russia relations, has warned again and again that the political pressures being placed on the Trump administration to maintain escalations with Russia without conceding an inch has placed our species in a situation that is in some ways even more dangerous than those we faced at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Moon of Alabama
The War In Afghanistan Is A Racket
The war in Afghanistan has no longer a real purposes. This or that radical group will always exist in Afghanistan. The war helps the U.S. military to claim more budget and to hand out promotions. It helps the Afghan government officials and the warlords to fill their pockets. What it does not do is to better the situation of the general population of Afghanistan or of the United States.
World Socialist Web
The United States government is guilty of war crimes.
This is the stark conclusion reached by the independent international commission of inquiry established by the United Nations in 2011 to investigate human rights violations stemming from the protracted US-backed war for regime change in Syria.
James Petras website
US and Turkey: The Balkanization of the Middle East
For the past 20 years Washington has aggressively pursued the age-old imperial strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia and East Africa Frustrated at its inability to control national policy of various independent nation-states, Washington used direct and indirect military force to destroy the central governments in the targeted nations and create patchworks of tribal-ethno-mini-states amenable to imperial rule. Tens of millions of people have been uprooted and millions have died because of this imperial policy.
Moon of Alabama
Trump Dumps Pretense Of Altruism From U.S. Foreign Policy
For decades the U.S. foreign policy elite and its presidents played the farce of an altruistic United States that acts for the global good and in the interest of humanity. That was always a lie.
The U.S. Is on Collision Course with Iran (and Russia), but Nobody’s Talking About It
The media wants you to believe Donald Trump is compromised by Russia when in actuality, his administration is closer to transforming the Cold War 2.0 into World War 3 than any other administration before him. Meanwhile, in tandem with the mass media, Trump’s administration has been sowing the seeds for a new conflict with Iran, which may involve over 55 countries that have just signed a military pact with the express intention of confronting Iran in Iraq and Syria.
The Powell Doctrine | Wikipedia
A list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States. The Doctrine
Is a vital national security interest threatened?
Do we have a clear attainable objective?
Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
Is the action supported by the American people?
Do we have genuine broad international support?
A strategy toward the Middle East requires more than short-term tactical moves
The U.S. cannot develop a coherent strategy because the entire U.S. armed force would be insufficient to impose American will on the Muslim world, which is filled with competing factions and political and religious passions, and is willing to take casualties. On the other hand, withdrawing would allow a Sunni caliphate to emerge and confront a Shiite state. Such a confrontation might not be the worst thing for the United States. But if one side were to win, it would create in coming decades an even greater challenge. Therefore, tactical moves designed to undermine on a local level is the best the United States can do.
The US has spent $4.8 trillion on wars since 9/11, with $7.9 trillion in interest
That’s a tax burden of more than $16,000 per American. Almost a quarter of that debt was incurred as a result of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and Syria. For the past 16 years, these wars have been paid for almost entirely by borrowing money from foreign nations and the U.S. Treasury.
The neocons are most definitely an integral part of the Deep State
Having a plausible and dangerous enemy like Russia on tap keeps the cash flowing from defense industries to the foundations and think tanks that the neocons nest in when they are not running the Pentagon and National Security Council. Follow the money. So it is all about self-interest combined with tribal memory: money, status and a visceral hatred of Russia. at 10:22
RESPECTED WRITERS AND TRUSTED SOURCES
PJ Media, Spengler
China leapfrogs US in critical strategic technology
For the first time, China has demonstrated that it is far ahead of the United States in a critical new technology, namely quantum communications.
Funny four minutes on origin of monotheism
Qatar has been the most progressive, modern-thinking Gulf state.
Its rulers, the al-Thani family, have tried to support moderate, progressive movements in the Arab world and Afghanistan with money and media support. Qatar’s efforts at modernizing are being met with furious opposition by the leaders of Mideast reaction – feudal kingdom Saudi Arabia, military dictatorship Egypt and their feudal satraps in the UAE and Bahrain. Trump’s green-lighting this foolish venture shows how poorly informed and dunderheaded he is.
Naomi Klein, The Guardian
Trump is an idiot, but don’t underestimate how good he is at that
The US has a president who embodies many of the things Naomi Klein has been warning about for years. She says her new book had to be written before things got worse
Naomi Klein "The Shock Doctrine" & "No Logo" interview
Tyler Cowen, "The Complacent Class"
Europe May Finally Rethink NATO Costs | Ray McGovern
By dunning NATO nations to chip more money into the military alliance, President Trump may inadvertently cause some Europeans to rethink the over-the-top anti-Russian propaganda.
We owe Donald Trump a small bow of thanks and a genuine debt of gratitude.
He’s teaching us something invaluable, something we probably wouldn’t have grasped without him. He’s teaching us just how deeply disturbed our American world actually is, or he wouldn’t be where he is.
Seeds of Destruction: The Diabolical World of Genetic Manipulation
This book is the sequel to a first volume, A Century ofWar: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. It traces a second thin red line of power. This one is about the control over the very basis of human survival, our daily provision of bread. The man who served the interests of the postwar American-based elite during the 1970’s, and came to symbolize its raw realpolitik, was Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Sometime in the mid-1970’s, Kissinger, a life-long practitioner of “Balance of Power” geopolitics and a man with more than a fair share of conspiracies under his belt, allegedly declared his blueprint for world domination: “Control the oil and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.”
Baseless allegations against Russia are pushing everyone towards world war
Stephen Cohen is an American scholar and professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University. His academic work concentrates on modern Russian history since the Bolshevik Revolution and the country's relationship with the United States.
Sam Harris - YouTube
Harris talks with CNN's Fareed Zakaria about his latest comments on Islam being violent
Patrick J. Buchanan
If we go to war in Syria, what would we be fighting for?
A New World Order? Democracy? Separation of mosque and state? Diversity? Free speech for Muslim heretics? LGBT rights? If, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we do not want America in yet another Mideast war, the time to stop it is before the War Party has us already in it. That time is now.
Charles Hugh Smith
The Long Game
When we speak of The Long Game, we speak of national/alliance policies that continue on regardless of what political party or individual is in office. The group responsible for playing America's Long Game--the Deep State--is now splitting into two main camps:
An Amazing Panel
John Michael Greer, James Howard Kunstler, Chris Martenson, Frank Morris, and Dmitry Orlov.
Naked Capitalism: As readers may know, Lambert and I prefer transcripts since they are much faster to process than listening to videos or podcasts. In most cases I feel the same way and usually will skip watching/listening altogether if there is no transcript. However when I read who was on this panel I was intrigued enough to give it a try, even though it a bit over 2 1/2 hours long. Am I ever glad that I did! Furthermore the discussion is so lively that it’s hard to imagine one would get anywhere nearly as much out of it from just reading it.
What to Make of the Age of Trump
The day after Donald Trump was elected president, The New York Times recommended six books “for those trying to understand the political, economic, regional and social shifts that drove one of the most stunning political upsets in the nation’s history.” Among them: Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal: Or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? Frank, a Kansas City native, has followed up, embarking on a 13-city barnstorming tour to talk to Trump voters, union leaders, and progressive activists across the Midwest in conjunction with Listen Liberal’s release in paperback.
Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment
“I’m hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle East, people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is available who are saying that the essential narrative that we’re all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham.”
James Howard Kunstler
Why do you think the US is in so much trouble?
In 1952 we had plenty of oil and the ability to make a lot of cars, which were fun, fun, fun! And we turned our war production expertise into the mass production of single family houses built on cheap land outside the cities. But the result now is that we’re stuck in a living arrangement with no future, the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. at 09:35
DISSOLUTION OF USA: THE 28th AMENDMENT
An Article V Convention Would Invite Constitutional Chaos
There is a threat to our democracy so severe it is shocking it has gone unnoticed this long, or been dismissed as impossible by the few who know about it and should be sounding the alarm. Given the current hyper-partisan environment of U.S. politics, the power of special and corporate interests in the post-Citizens United era, the call for a convention poses a huge threat to the nation.
We’re Not in a Civil War, but We Are Drifting Toward Divorce
An Article Five(5) Convention
How to legally dissolve the U.S. Federal Government
Thirty four (34) is the number of Legislatures from the several States necessary to call a States Convention or a Constitutional Convention. Thirty eight (38) is the number of legislatures from the several States that is necessary to ratify and thus amend the U.S. Constitution after such a convention. This amendment could be “to dissolve”. By “dissolve” I mean the whole compact between the several States. Yes, the entire Federal Government and every thing it has or was created under it's jurisdiction.
A constitutional convention is looking increasingly likely
On Feb. 24, Wyoming became the 29th state to pass a resolution requesting a convention specifically to add a single balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Many of these legislative resolutions also attempt to set the rules for the convention and limit who can attend it to a select list of largely GOP state leaders. There are two major legislative pushes for a convention at the state level. One would attempt to engineer a convention for a balanced budget amendment only, and the other tries to secure an open convention for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. But once a convention is underway, all bets are off. The convention can write its own rules, resulting in a wide-open or “runaway” convention that can make major changes to the constitution and, some argue, even change the number of states required to ratify those changes.
Patrick J. Buchanan
Is Democracy in a Death Spiral?
How, outside an external attack that unites us, like 9/11, do we find unity among people who dislike each other so much and regard each other’s ideas and ideals as hateful and repellent? Democracy requires common ground on which all can stand, but that ground is sinking beneath our feet, and democracy may be going down the sinkhole with it. Where liberals see as an ever-more splendid diversity of colors, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles, the Right sees the disintegration of a country, a nation, a people, and its replacement with a Tower of Babel. Visions in conflict that democracy cannot reconcile.
Anti-Federalist vs Federalist
In U.S. history, anti-federalists were those who opposed the development of a strong federal government and the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, preferring instead for power to remain in the hands of state and local governments. Federalists wanted a stronger national government and the ratification of the Constitution to help properly manage the debt and tensions following the American Revolution.
The Constitutional Convention: The Miracle in Philadelphia
This podcast is the last installment of Mike Duncan's series on the American revolution. After you listen to it, you will see why it is remembered as "The Miracle in Philadelphia."
A Republic, If You Can Keep It
Minutes after the Constitutional Convention adjourned in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, Elizabeth Powel, a friend of George Washington who hosted many social events for the political class of the time, asked Benjamin Franklin if the convention had given us a republic or a monarchy. “A republic, madam, if you can keep it,” the venerable 81-year-old delegate, ambassador, and inventor responded.
The filibuster is anti-democratic.
The Founders put in checks and balances but they didn’t intend that if one party had control off all branches of government they couldn’t do what they wanted, subject to the Constitution.
The Geopolitics of the United States: The Inevitable Empire
Americans are not important because of who they are, but because of where they live. The Greater Mississippi Basin together with the Intracoastal Waterway has more kilometers of navigable internal waterways than the rest of the world combined. The American Midwest is both overlaid by this waterway and is the world's largest contiguous piece of farmland. The U.S. Atlantic Coast possesses more major ports than the rest of the Western Hemisphere combined. Two vast oceans insulated the United States from Asian and European powers.
America has bred an underclass of young men
who are dispirited by their upbringing in feminist-run schools, by poor prospects for careers, too beta to interest attractive young girls, despised by both political parties. Many have retreated to booze, drugs, sports, porn, and video games. For years I have said that young men will do as they always do: self-organize into packs and find that they are strong when they stand together. at 07:35
Almost none of the people who pronounce themselves devotees of free trade actually do consistently advocate free trade policies. Rather they push selective protectionist policies, that have the effect of redistributing income to people like them, and call them "free trade."
NEOLIBERALISM, GLOBALISM, ECONOMIC NATIONALISM
The Market Ticker
Why We Need Wage And Environmental Parity Tariffs
The US must implement wage and environmental parity tariffs to prevent companies from arbitraging not only slave-labor conditions in third world nations but also to prevent them from exporting intentional destruction of the environment as a means of evading perfectly-legitimate laws intended to prevent despoiling the land, water and air in the United States. The reason we need it is that American companies have made a business out of poisoning people on purpose -- that is, well beyond the point at which a particular hazard was identified and they have moved production offshore and to third-party and third-world producers in order to keep doing so even after being slammed in the United States.
The Roots of Trump’s Economic Policy
The 'American model' is a rediscovering of an older Republican tradition.
Pat Buchanan: The Voice of Economic Nationalism
Pat Buchanan attacks globalism as a conspiracy of "elites" callously indifferent to the wages and living standards of working families
Definition of Economic nationalism | Wikipedia
Economic nationalism is an umbrella term that includes economic policies and theories designed to improve the domestic economy relative to foreign economies. It therefore subsumes theories such as economic patriotism, protectionism, and mercantilism, all of which are different forms of economic nationalism. Economic nationalists oppose globalization, or at least question the benefits of unrestricted free trade.
IMF Blames Fall of Middle Class on Globalization and Technology
Yves: One of the big problem of reports like this is they never consider the question that income distribution is a function of political and social arrangements, and in particular, the rights of capital versus labor. It is hardly an accident that labor stopped sharing in the benefits of productivity gains in the mid 1970s, well before globalization and technology would have played much of a role. The big culprit was loss of labor bargaining power, which become official policy due to Volcker committing the Fed to creating more labor slack to keep inflation as close to his preferred target of zero as possible, and the Reagan/Thatcher “free market” fetish.
"Neoliberalism” is characterised by four significant economic policies:
1) the abandonment of full employment as a desirable policy goal and its replacement with inflation targeting;
2) an increase in the globalization of the flows of people, capital, and trade;
3) a focus at a firm level on shareholder value maximization rather than reinvestment and growth; and
4) the pursuit of flexible labor markets and the disruption of trade unions and workers’ organisation.
Don’t Side With Neoliberalism in Opposing Trump
Trump is attacking two of neoliberalism's foundations: free trade and unlimited capital mobility..
Beat the Press
The "Free Traders" Who Do Not Believe in Free Trade
Beat the Press
U.S. Pursues Selective Protectionism: Not Free Trade
The Washington Post and other major news outlets are strong supporters of the trade policy pursued by administrations of both political parties. They routinely allow their position on this issue to spill over into their news reporting, touting the policy as "free trade." We got yet another example of this in the Washington Post today. Of course the policy is very far from free trade. We have largely left in place the protectionist barriers that keep doctors and dentists from other countries from competing with our own doctors. (Doctors have to complete a U.S. residency program before they can practice in the United States and dentists must graduate from a U.S. dental school. at 00:30
THE MEDIA CANNOT BE TRUSTED
Information, especially of a biased, emotionally charged or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.
WSJ: Peggy Noonan
Rage Is All the Rage, and It’s Dangerous
A generation of media figures are cratering under the historical pressure of Donald Trump.
Sorting Out Ukraine Conflict’s History
The U.S. mainstream media’s narrative of the Ukraine crisis – hailing the 2014 Maidan uprising and blaming the ensuing conflict on Russia – is facing challenge in some early historical accounts.
Our American Pravda
The realization that the world is often quite different from what is presented in our leading newspapers and magazines is not an easy conclusion for most educated Americans to accept, or at least that was true in my own case. For decades, I have closely read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two other major newspapers every morning, supplemented by a wide variety of weekly or monthly opinion magazines. Their biases in certain areas had always been apparent to me. But I felt confident that by comparing and contrasting the claims of these different publications and applying some common sense, I could obtain a reasonably accurate version of reality. I was mistaken.
Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria
In wartime, US television instantly converts into state media. Nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.
When Will The Media Realize That Anonymous Sources Undermine Their Credibility?
The New Yorker, along with many other ‘mainstream media’ publications, obfuscates the truth in subtle ways. Here we’ll focus on anonymous sources. As the Society of Professional Journalists states in its Code of Ethics: Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability … The most important professional possession of journalists is credibility. If the news consumers don’t have faith that the stories they are reading or watching are accurate and fair, if they suspect information attributed to an anonymous source has been made up, then the journalists are as useful as a parka at the equator.
Paul Craig Roberts
The media serve as propagandists for military/security complex and Wall Street
World Socialist Web
CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”
This thuggish statement is a direct threat aimed at Assange and all who oppose the crimes of the government. In the US, the punishment for treason is death. Last November, Pompeo argued that whistleblower Edward Snowden should be put to death.
Paul Craig Roberts
Wikileaks doesn’t steal the documents. The documents are leaked by whistleblowers
who cannot tolerate the immorality and lies of the US government. Anyone who tells the truth is by definition against the United States of America. And the moron Pompeo intends to get them. When I first read Pompeo’s accusation against Assange, I thought it had to be a joke. The CIA director wants to revoke the First Amendment. But the moron Pompeo actually said it.
Summary of Noam Chomsky's analyses on how the corporate media functions. at 16:00
WHAT IS FASCISM
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
-- Sinclair Lewis
Fascism is the result of the failure of the left to provide an alternative. -- Trotsky
What is fascism? There is no one tidy definition, but it has three essential elements:
1) State and corporate elites govern society and the economy as one unified class.
2) This status quo (i.e. The Establishment) seeks to impose a conformity of values and opinion that support the dominant narratives of the status quo via the mass (corporate) media and the state-controlled educational system.
3) Dissent from any quarter is suppressed via mass-media ridicule, the judicial crushing and silencing of whistleblowers, and all the other powers of the central state: rendition, extra-legal imprisonment, political gulags (in our era, disguised as drug-war gulags), character assassination, murder by drone, impoverishing dissenters via firings and blacklists, and on and on.
The Left’s Descent to Fascism
History often surprises us with unexpected ironies. For the past century, the slide to fascism could be found on the Right (conservative, populist, nationalist political parties). But now it’s the Left that’s descending into fascism, and few seem to even notice this remarkable development. By Left I mean socialist-leaning, progressive, internationalist/globalist political parties.
Any fascist movement NEVER had these three features
* Conservatism - the hot-button
WHAT IS SOCIALISM
Charles Hugh Smith
A more accurate definition of socialism
The means of production are owned and controlled by those who produce the goods and services. The only truly socialist system would be comprised of worker-owned collectives and co-ops, and privately owned and operated small enterprises. In a truly socialist system, global corporations would pay such high entry fees and taxes that they could not compete on price against local worker-owned collectives/ co-ops. In a truly socialist system, state functionaries would be banned from accepting bribes, campaign contributions, seats on philantro-capitalist foundations, corporations, etc., and barred from taking jobs in corporations after leaving state employment.
THE FED, MONETARY REFORM AND BANKING
Global Finance Magazine
Which financial innovations have been most harmful?
Galbraith: Fraudulent instruments for asset-backed securities, like liars’ loans, NINJA loans, and CDOs (collateralized debt obligations), should top anybody’s list. They institutionalized the criminal takeover of the mortgage business, beginning with liars’ loans and the fraudulent representation of the borrowers and carrying on through fraudulent representation of the risks in the securities. CDOs take the toxic waste of some mortgage-backed securities and combine it with the toxic waste of other mortgage-backed securities and call the results diversified. The whole chain was certain not only to collapse, but to bring down the affected institutions.
Paul Craig Roberts
Without A New Glass-Steagall America Will Fail
The repeal of Glass-Steagall is that it turned a somewhat egalitarian democracy with a large middle class into the One Percent vs. the 99 percent. The repeal resulted in the destruction of the image of the United States as an open prosperous society. The electorate is very much aware of the decline in their economic situation, and this awareness expressed itself in the last presidential election.
Chris Martenson - YouTube
The Federal Reserve Is Destroying America
FED Excess Reserves Special Report
(KR: This video will make you howl in anger.)
Truthout, Noam Chomsky
How the System Is Rigged to Ensure That Banks Always Win
The banks and bank lobbyists are actually writing the laws of financial regulation — it gets to that extreme. That’s been happening through history and, again, it’s a pretty natural tendency when you just look at the distribution of power.
Wall Street on Parade
As a voter, I do want the banks broken into pieces
which partition the banks — which offer $250,000 FDIC broken away from everything else… I am not interested in payouts to banks which have collateral which may include ‘products, derivatives, stocks, hedges…’ ”
Wall Street on Parade
Breaking Up the Big Wall Street Banks Is Back in the Headlines
The problem with the newspaper debate today is that almost no one has their facts straight. The New York Times has played a leading role in obfuscating what actually caused the financial crash – first through writer Andrew Ross Sorkin and more recently under the pens of economist Paul Krugman and writer William Cohan.
What Would Jesus Disrupt?
I believe this is answered by Matt 21:11-13, but what would I know?
Matthew 21:12: Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.
Beat the Press
Robert Rubin Argues for Preserving Wall Street's Power Over the Fed
Rubin was a main architect of the high dollar policy that led to the explosion of the trade deficit in the last decade. This led to the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs and decimating communities across the Midwest. Second, Rubin was a major advocate of financial deregulation during his years in the Clinton administration. Finally, Rubin was a direct beneficiary of deregulation, since he left the administration to take a top job at Citigroup. He made over $100 million in this position before he resigned in the financial crisis when bad loans had essentially put Citigroup into bankruptcy. (It was saved by government bailouts.)
Beat the Press
Uber and the Federal Reserve Board
With changes in the economy, many workers may have no choice but to rely on Uber jobs. In this context, it is worth mentioning the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve Board has raised interest rates twice in the last four months because it is concerned that the economy is creating too many jobs. It is expected to raise interest rates three more times this year. If people consider it bad that workers have few options other than working for Uber, they should be very upset that the Fed is raising interest rates. These interest rates are helping to ensure that millions of workers have limited job opportunities.
Banks Are Evil
In 2016, JP Morgan's daily average trading revenues were $80 million. Per day! That's nearly $20 billion for the year. So if not "trading", what should we call it when a bank can extract tens of billions of dollars a year from the markets, with no downside risk? "Sanctioned theft" sounds about right.
Audit the Fed, Then Close It
Auditing the Fed is only a baby step. We need to end the Fed, end fractional reserve lending, and have a free market in currencies and interest rates. Regulation can be conducted by other Federal agencies and states.
House panel passes bill to audit the Fed
Democrats in the committee were firmly against the bill.
New York Times
Trump Wants Faster Growth. The Fed Isn’t So Sure.
The central bank, for its part, is indicating that it will seek to restrain any acceleration in economic activity. The Fed does not want faster growth. Fed officials estimate that the economy is already growing at something like the maximum sustainable pace. Fed officials predicted in December that the economy would expand 2.1 percent this year, slightly faster than the 1.8 percent pace they regard as sustainable.
Federal Reserve squeezes retirees, hurts savers
Fed's low interest policy transfered a trillion dollars in wealth from savers to the 1%?
President of Richmond Fed Leaks Insider Information and Gets to Walk Free
Bill Black makes clear how Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker got away with conduct which would have earned mere mortals a big fine and maybe even jail time.
"Shadow banking, as usually defined, comprises a diverse set of institutions and markets that, collectively,
carry out traditional banking functions — but do so outside, or in ways only loosely linked to, the traditional system of regulated depository institutions. Examples of important components of the shadow banking system include securitization vehicles, asset-backed commercial paper [ABCP] conduits, money market funds, markets for repurchase agreements, investment banks, and mortgage companies" | Wikipedia quote by Ben Bernanke at 08:22
We have created a monster, a Deep State with such unchecked power, armed with such Orwellian technology, that it represents a clear and present danger to our constitutional republic. This threat is underscored not only by the latest WikiLeaks revelations, but also by the intelligence community’s intervention in our domestic politics, which has been documented in the headlines of the nation’s newspapers for the past few months.
POLICE STATE WATCH
The Rutherford Institute
Twilight of the Courts: The Elusive Search for Justice in the American Police State
In the police state being erected around us, the police and other government agents can probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts. Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.
Fear the police (important advice on the streets of his new America)
Instead of discussing the evolution of the-America-that-once-was into a
New America, let’s have some practical advice about how to live in it.
For example, what should you do when questioned by the police? You have
identified yourself, and now the questions begin:
The FBI Has No Legal Charter
The FBI was never established by a law.
World Socialist Web
The global ransomware attack and the crimes of the US spy agencies
Illegal domestic surveillance operations authorized by the Bush administration after 9/11 resulted in the vastly expanded scale of government spying that was exposed by Snowden. With the collaboration, both voluntary and coerced, of the major telecommunications companies, the US government was able to vacuum up nearly all phone conversations, email and chat messages exchanged on digital devices.
The FBI has long been an enemy of the citizens of the United States
What’s all this silliness from Politico claiming that the FBI has never been a politicized organization?
Dismantle the FBI, and Give its Money Back to the States
Why does the US need a huge national police force at all? Can't state police forces do just as well? The 2017 budget request for the FBI, for instance, is for $8.7 billion. It's so much money, in fact, that if the FBI were abolished, and the sum were divided up into 50 even portions for the states, each state would receive $174 million dollars.
Assange: ‘CIA Is Basically Useless, Incompetent’
Extremely incompetent. But the CIA doesn’t have to be competent, all it has to do is be secretive.
In Secret Court Hearing, Lawyer Objected to FBI Sifting Through NSA Data Like It Was Google
The NSA harvests data from major Internet companies like Facebook and from huge fiber optic backbones in the U.S. without a warrant, because it is ostensibly “targeting” only foreigners. But the surveillance program sweeps up a large number of Americans’ communications as well. Then vast amounts of data from the program, including the domestic communications, are entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer at the 2015 hearing described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.”
The CIA is expressly forbidden from spying on US citizens
and anything overheard incidentally when bugging foreigners is supposed to remain suppressed or “masked.”) Somebody at the CIA just handed the info straight to The New York Times, The WashPo, and CNN. That story broke in back in January. How come the CIA has not rooted out the culprit and handed him/her/zhe over to the Department of Justice?
Why Vault 7 Tools Used by Private Contractors Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild
If these tools were solely in the hands of a US agency, you would be much safer. The agencies have limits on what they can do and agencies have oversight providing protections. Instead, intelligence and counterterrorism tools are in the hands of people that make most of their money pushing political agendas forward. And there is no oversight for what they are doing with the tools.
Do We Live in a Police State?
The US president can spy on anybody, anytime, anywhere. No warrants necessary
Judge Napolitano also stressed that “wiretapping” per se, is not even really required, since everything we say or write on our mobile phones or computers is already digitally captured by the NSA and stored for future retrieval. It would therefore have been a simple matter for the Obama administration, as well as those in the intelligence community hostile to President Trump, to obtain private conversations of Trump or anyone they wished.
Paul Craig Roberts
Truth Is Rare and Hard to Find
If the CIA can leave the fingerprint of an innocent party, we must assume the CIA can also put secret documents or child pornography on a person’s computer. Because of the CIA’s capability, henceforth we cannot know if any evidence presented in any trial against any defendant is real of faked.
Border officials have long had broad powers — many people just don’t know about them.
Border officials, for instance, have search powers that extend 100 air miles inland from any external boundary of the U.S. That means border agents can stop and question people at fixed checkpoints dozens of miles from U.S. borders. They can also pull over motorists whom they suspect of a crime as part of “roving” border patrol operations.
The Multibillion-Dollar U.S. Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard of
The NGA remains by far the most shadowy member of the Big Five spy agencies. The NGA is to pictures what the NSA is to voices. Its principal function is to analyze the billions of images and miles of video captured by drones in the Middle East and spy satellites circling the globe. But because it has largely kept its ultra-high-resolution cameras pointed away from the United States. Few civilians have any idea how advanced these military eye-in-the-sky drones have become. Among them is ARGUS-IS, the world’s highest-resolution camera with 1.8 billion pixels. Invisible from the ground at nearly four miles in the air, it uses a technology known as “persistent stare” — the equivalent of 100 Predator drones peering down at a medium-size city at once — to track everything that moves.
Don't Forget JFK's Fight With The CIA
JFK was threatening the existence of the entire national-security establishment.
The origins of the overclass can be traced back to the CIA at 23:50
Changing Narrative: Democratic Party Wrestling with Need for Immigration Limits
Pundits and reporters from the center left and beyond are looking at the Democratic Party's "immigration problem" with renewed urgency.
Trump’s policies on immigration are, in many ways, outright betrayals.
And yet, Trump himself is still not being abandoned by his base. Instead, they largely blame Congress for any failures. Indeed, pollsters say voters are more loyal to Trump personally than the GOP.
Donald Trump Backslides on Campaign Promise To Curb Legal Immigration
In an interview with pro-globalist Economist magazine, Trump was asked: “Do you want to curb legal immigration?” Trump responded by saying he prefers merit-based immigration of skilled people. The interviewer pressed him again on the scale of legal immigration, asking “[are you] not looking to reduce the numbers?” “No, no, no, no, we want people coming in legally. No, very strongly,” Trump replied.
Does the US want a population of 500 million, a billion?
The Pew Research Center estimates U.S. population to rise to 441 million by 2065. Immigration policy will alone be responsible for 88 percent of the increase (103 million).
USA Today says end Chain Migration
When a mainstream media outlet calls for an end to Chain Migration, the debate over legal immigration is heading in the right direction! This sort of commentary from a mainstream news outlet was unheard of several months ago. The tendency for the MSM has been to side with the big businesses that seek cheap, foreign labor and provide news outlets with coveted advertising dollars. But Pres. Trump's focus throughout the campaign on protecting American workers, particularly those who have been impacted by massive amounts of unskilled labor through legal immigration, has opened the door for a debate shift.
Common Sense on Immigration
As usual, California leads the lunacy. Gov. Jerry Brown, who famously laid out a “welcome” sign to Mexican illegal and legal immigrants, has also given them drivers’ licenses and provides financial aid for college, even while cutting aid for middle-class residents. Some Sacramento lawmakers are pressing to give undocumented immigrants’ access to state health insurance.
Ten Steps to Re-establish the Integrity of the Immigration System at 23:54