Tuesday, January 31, 2017
lewrockwell | Throughout Mexico, millions of communities depend on the “remesas” (remittances) sent home every year from relatives, legal and illegal, in the U.S. Amounting to tens of billions of dollars a year, these funds are Mexico’s only welfare system; the government’s version is so riddled with corruption that it’s virtually nonexistent.
The Corruptos also tax the remittances as soon as they arrive: recipient families must pay off the police chief, the mayor, and the local gang leader(s) – or fear for their lives and their livelihood.
This is the foul sewer of graft that will collapse in ruins when Trump’s Wall goes up to stay.
Peña Nieto laments that illegals in the U.S. are “at risk,” but the truth is darker: they’ll really be at risk if they return home.
Wait – wouldn’t they be safer there?
No way, José. If ten to twenty million illegals return to their family homes south of the border, it could bring down the entire Corrupto cartel.
For generations, the Corruptos have driven northwards millions of their fellow citizens so Enrique and his pals won’t have to take care of them at home.
That’s why Catholic bishops on both sides of the border routinely refer to Mexicans heading north to cross the border as “desperate.”
And who made them desperate?
Not us. After all, they’ve never been here.
Enrique’s pals made them desperate.
The Corruptos oppressed and exploited them as a way of life – that’s why they had to leave!
Moreover, there are tens of millions more Mexicans right there in Mexico who are “at risk” – terrorized by the corrupt multi-party elites that are allied with the drug gangs, the crime-infested military, the murderous Coyotes, and bought-off local officials. All these tentacles of the Mexican Deep State live on bribes, terror, and fraud.
shtfplan | There will be war in the streets, or at least there could be.
The strong armed tactics against Mexico are not making officials happy south of the border.
Now, with an executive order facilitating the deportation of illegal immigrants – and especially those who have committed criminal offenses – as well as building a wall on the border, President Trump has many Mexicans up in arms.
Jorge Castañeda Gutman, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Mexico, took things a step further during an interview on CNN with Fareed Zakaria when he suggested that Mexico’s previous cooperation with the U.S. in curbing the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants could end.
Instead, the cartels could be essentially unleashed upon the U.S. – retribution for tough policies on Mexico and other immigrant-producing countries in the Latin American world.
These astonishing words could open up an economic gang war against the U.S. – very irresponsible words that reveal just how connected Mexico’s leadership is with the violent drug cartels who operate from their territories:
Mexico has a lot of negotiating chips in this matter, Fareed, but it also has measures we could take in other areas. For example, the drugs that come through Mexico from South America, or the drugs that are produced here in Mexico all go to the United States. This is not our problem. We have been cooperating with the United States for many years on these issues because they’ve asked us to and because we have a friendly, trustful relationship. If that relationship disappears, the reasons for cooperation also disappear.
The implications are astoundingly clear – Mexico would consider exporting chaos and violence into the United States as a form of payback for immigration restrictions and controls against the instability that the southern border has brought to the country for decades.
kunstler | It’s only taken a week for President Trump to give the body politic an immigration enema. The aim, perhaps, was to flush out a set of bad ideas that Barack Obama had managed over eight years to instate as “normal.” Namely, that it’s unnecessary to enforce the immigration laws, or cruel and unusual to do so, or that national borders are a barbarous anachronism, or that federal laws are optional in certain self-selected jurisdictions.
But Trump’s staff sure fucked up the details carrying out his refugee and immigration ban, most particularly detaining people with green cards, and those already granted visas. The blunder provoked an impressive blowback of airport protests, and finally a stay from a federal judge, which muddied the legality of Trump’s executive order — all in all, a tactical stumble for Prez DT, who apparently omitted to consult with an array of government agencies and their lawyers before issuing the decree at close-of-business Friday. For the record, I’m down with the complaint that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Afghanistan were left off the no-come list, since those lands produce more radical Islamic maniacs than anywhere else.
The reader by now probably detects my ambivalent feelings in this bundle of issues and grievances, so let me try to clarify my basic positions: I think borders matter and they need to be protected. I think our immigration law enforcement under Obama has been deeply dishonest and damaging to our politics in ways that go far beyond the question of who gets to come here. I believe we are under no obligation to take in everybody and anybody who wants to move here. I believe we need an official time out from the high-volume immigration of recent decades. I believe we have good reasons to be picky about who we let in.
The most dishonest and damaging trope of recent years is the widely-accepted idea on the Left that illegal immigrants are merely “undocumented” — as if they were the hapless victims of some clerical error made by the government and therefore deserving of a pass. Language matters. The acceptance and repetition of this lie has in effect given permission to the Left to lie whenever it suits their purposes about all kinds of things, for instance the delusion that Russia stole the election from Hillary Clinton and that Radical Islam doesn’t pose a threat to western values (or even exist). And it is certainly true that they are assisted by legacy media giants such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. The Times, especially is keen to provoke a national crisis that might unseat Trump, by simply declaring it so in a three-column headline
Monday, January 30, 2017
WaPo | The Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria has had a quiet but well-funded lobbying effort in Washington since well before he began murdering his own people. But that influence campaign’s clearest triumph came only this month, when it succeeded in bringing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) to Damascus and having her parrot Assad’s propaganda on her return.
Gabbard was not the first U.S. elected official to meet Assad. In the early years of Assad’s presidency, several senior U.S. lawmakers publicly traveled to see the young English-speaking optometrist-turned-ruler, in the hope that he might be a reformer, break with Iran and even make peace with Israel. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited Assad in 2007. Then-Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) led a delegation in 2009.
After the killing began in 2011, however, Assad’s friends in Washington largely went underground and a covert influence and intimidation campaign blossomed. The FBI began investigating Syrian ambassador Imad Moustapha, due to evidence he was keeping tabs on Syrian Americans who showed disloyalty so the Syrian government could threaten their families back home. Moustapha departed for Beijing in 2012, but he left in place a network of friends, Syrian Americans who nurtured close ties to the regime and worked on Assad’s behalf.
Washingtonsblog | Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the omnipresent US-consulting company, and Google, the global data miner, issued a joint report in July 2016 on the “$500 bn Pot of Gold”, which is the Indian digital payment market. Even though the authors deny it, the report gives much reason to suspect that the authors knew that something radical was imminent from the Indian government. The report is remarkably honest about the aims of the whole exercise.
There is no statement in the BCG-Google-report “Digital Payments 2020” to the effect that it is related to the joint initiative of USAID and the Indian ministry of finance, formally established in 2015, to push back the use of cash and promote digital payments. Rather it is presented as a freestanding initiative of BCG and Google. I reached out to one of the authors, BCG’s senior partner Alpesh Shah, to ask about this and he insisted: “This was a joint BCG-Google report, with no connection / relation to USAID/Indian Ministry of Finance.” However, there is much to suggest that there was a connection. First of all, the subject so perfectly fits with the program of that partnership. The subtitle of the report is “The Making of a $500 bn ecosystem in India”. The steering committee for the report included a representative of Visa, member of the Better Than Cash Alliance together with USAID and affiliate of the partnership of USAID and Indian finance ministry to advance digital payments. It also included PayTM and Vodafone, which are also part of the CATALYST coalition, a project, which according to USAID, is a “next step” in said partnership of USAID and the Indian finance ministry.
The report is a call to arms for all payment service providers. They are alerted that things are going to be shaken up in India. On page three it says:
“We expect the digital payments space to witness significant disruption in the days ahead.”
The disruption came on November 8, when Prime Minister Modi decreed that most of the cash notes by value were no longer legal means of payment. By itself, the remark about the “disruption in the days ahead” might be considered suggestive but weak evidence that BCG and Google new something of those plans. However, combine this with the fact that they forecast a tenfold increase of digital payments and of the merchant acceptance network by 2020 without giving any real compelling reason why such an unlikely development should come to pass.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Counterpunch | In 2008, the American people overwhelmingly voted for “change” in Washington. They never got it. Hence, Trump. To pretend that there’s not a straight line connecting the failed policies of Barack Obama and the subsequent rise of Donald John Trump, is to ignore the obvious and to shrug off responsibility for the situation the country is in today.
Obama created Trump, the man didn’t simply appear from the ether. Had Obama acted in good faith and kept his promises to shake up the status quo, end the foreign wars, restore civil liberties, hold Wall Street accountable or relieve the economic insecurity that working families across the country now feel, Hillary Clinton would have been a shoe-in on November 8th. As it happens, Obama made no effort to achieve any of these goals, which is why Hillary was defeated in the biggest political upset of the last century.
The point we need to underscore here, is that the Democratic leadership is responsible for Trump, not the working class people in the red states who merely did what they had to do to effect change. These people can’t be blamed for voting their own best interests. That’s what people do. Had Obama done anything to genuinely improve the economy, things might have turned out differently. But he didn’t, in fact– as popular as Obama was– a full two thirds of the American people thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. In other words, the election was a referendum on Obama’s performance as the primary steward of the US economy. Obama lost that referendum.
Even so, the DNC could have reloaded and taken a different approach to the economy under Hillary. They didn’t. They thought the “recovery” meme was effective enough to put them over the finish line. But it wasn’t effective enough, because too many people saw that the recovery was a fraud, that there was no recovery, it was all a slick Madison Avenue public relations campaign aimed at concealing the fact that Obama had restructured the US economy in a way that deliberately kept growth at-or-below 2 percent so the Fed could continue pumping cheap money to its constituents on Wall Street while everyone else saw their personal debtload grow, their retirement savings vanish, and their standards of living slip. Isn’t that what really happened? Obama’s grand restructuring project has resulted in perennial economic stagnation and widespread pessimism about the future. The former president oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from working class people to parasitic plutocrats in the history of the nation. It wasn’t an accident. Obama was following a blueprint that was given to him by his handlers at the DNC.
So now the country is to be led by a brash billionaire reality TV celebrity who has no previous political experience and who seems unusually sensitive to any kind of personal criticism. Not surprisingly, there’s no sign that the Democratic leadership feels any responsibility for this extraordinary development.
Why is that? Why hasn’t anyone in the DNC admitted their failure, admitted that they didn’t accurately gage the mood of the country or the hunger for change? Why haven’t they acknowledged that putting the most untrustworthy candidate of all time –a thoroughly dislikable, warmongering harridan– on the ticket was a mistake? Why?
It’s because this vile collection of corporate Dems who run the party are incapable of self reflection, right? It’s because the Podesta throng — who still hold the party in their deathgrip –truly believe that bamboozling their base with Potemkin executives like Barack Obama, is a terrific model for running the government. They think Obama’s tenure as president was a success story, mainly because his grandiloquent bloviating and larking around on stage with sleeves rolled up like an overpaid athlete– diverted attention from the trillions of dollars that were being sluiced to the banking whores on Wall Street. Isn’t that why the Dems haven’t changed?
Saturday, January 28, 2017
WaPo | Ernesto Zedillo, a professor in the field of international economics and politics at Yale University, was president of Mexico from 1994 to 2000.
The Mexican government has been courteous toward Donald Trump, as both a candidate and now U.S. president. Indeed, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has paid a high political cost at home for his being open to working constructively with President Trump. But Peña Nieto has done the right thing by putting the interests of Mexico and the preservation of mutually beneficial relations with our neighbor above his personal popularity. Nevertheless, the time has come to admit that the actions of the new administration have closed off, at least for the foreseeable future, the possibility of any agreement being achieved through dialogue and negotiation that could satisfy the interests of both parties.
This is an unfortunate and sad situation, but the effort to accommodate President Trump’s capricious wishes has proven worthless and should not be continued. It is not useful for Mexico or the United States.
In retrospect, the probability of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement on the topics on President Trump’s Mexico agenda was always small, considering that his demands have defied legal and economic rationality all along.
therealnews | So, John, give us some background about these protests because people are said to be reacting to the price increase of gasoline. So, is that all? Or is there more to this?
JOHN ACKERMAN: No, this is not just about gas or gas prices. This is another step in the collapse of the legitimacy of the ruling government, the ruling regime. We can compare it, I think, to the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela about 25 years ago, the beginning of the '90s. Carlos Andrés Pérez came back for his second presidency, and one of his most important reforms was more privatizing -- they already had more privatizing then was in Mexico but deepening the privatization of oil in Venezuela. This lead to a fiscal crisis of the state and lead to widespread protests and the collapse of what used to be considered the most stable, centralist democracy in Latin America -- Venezuela. And we had a revolution, a peaceful revolution, which lead to a new constitution, lead to a new government. And this is the process we're in the middle of in Mexico.
Now, I'm not trying to say that you know, we're going to have a Chávez coming in, or Maduro, or that Mexico is going to follow the path of Venezuela -- for good or for bad, or however you want to look at it -- but Mexico is going through a collapse of its sitting government and this is being expressed through the question of oil.
When Enrique Peña Nieto came in, in 2012, one of his most important policy programs was to privatize oil. As a result of this oil privatization, he promised that oil prices would come down and that Mexico would grow through increased international investment.
Well, this 20% increase from one day to the next on New Year's Day of 2017 has finally convinced the Mexican people demonstrating this that it was all just a lie from the very beginning. He did privatize oil but it was not for the benefit of Mexicans but for the benefit of his friends and the big oil companies. And so, this is finally sinking in with the Mexican people -- and that's what we're seeing with these protests explicitly against the gas hike, but more generally against authoritarianism and oppression in Mexico.
KIM BROWN: Well, John, then it begs the question, I mean, do you think the situation could endanger the president's position? Because according to polls, his popularity was already was already at a historic low.
JOHN ACKERMAN: Yes. Enrique Peña Nieto is the most despised, I would say, President we've had in Mexico in recent history. Not even, you know, Carlos Slim, or Vicente Fox, or Felipe Calderón, who also got very low on their public opinion ratings, did not get as low as Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico had been until Peña Nieto an exceptional Latin America. The Mexican people, although they saw there were serious problems with neoliberalism, repression, authoritarianism, in the end, they kind of hoped or believed that the President was going to save them, that he was on their side of the people. But with Enrique Peña Nieto this has changed.
Now Peña Nieto has approval ratings down in, you know, 10, 15... 20% is the highest number I've seen in recent polls. And he gave a State of the... you know, a national address on all the television channels yesterday, at night, and he looked pretty tired. You could note it in his face. You could note it in his expression. He himself seems to kind of want to pack his bags. He's still got another two years left, which could be too long for him.
One of the good opportunities is that, you know, we do have elections coming up next year in 2018, a federal presidential election, also for national congress, lots of state governments. And so that could be an opportunity for reviving politics and democracy in Mexico.
telesurtv | Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex has been ransacked by President Enrique Peña Nieto, other government officials, and the country's oligarchy, and now that it’s bankrupt they have turned it into a Ponzi scheme, prominent economist, researcher, analyst and author James Cypher told teleSUR.
Friday, January 27, 2017
neweconomicperspectives | To sum it up, Brazile is running the DNC even though all the folks who call themselves “leaders” of the Democratic Party know that she used the Wall Street Journal to attack the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party as traitors to the Nation because they did not support Bush’s dishonest, unlawful, and catastrophic invasion of Iraq. Further, she praised, and demanded that Democrats emulate, three of the worst chicken hawks who framed the lies, chose the bank fraud as their puppet, and bungled the occupation of Iraq.
So here is my obvious question: what political party in its right mind would choose Brazile as its leader? She is a disgrace. Listen to the jingoistic and juvenile phrase she used to sum up the New Democrat’s pro-war policies, particularly in light of her denunciation of Democrats who opposed Bush’s lies as “effete.” “[Democrats] “need to return to … muscular national security principles.” “Muscular?” Of course, people who invade and kill people on the basis of lies are “manly” while those who oppose such invasions are “effete.” Manly men are “muscular.” They do not think. A man that uses his brains rather than his muscles is not smart; he is “effete.” We should glory in “regime change” because it is “muscular” – even if it transforms Iraq into an ally of Iran and leads to a series of sectarian civil wars in Iraq. On the issues that separate the New Democrats from progressives, Brazile represents everything that the Democratic Party should be opposing.
Note also that Brazile, unintentionally revealed the massive ideological contradiction, the black hole of hypocrisy that forms the New Democrats’ gravitational center. The New Democrats purportedly stand for the “end of big government,” deep distrust of government workers and programs, and austerity. The New Democrats rushed to cheer Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq even though it was the quintessential “big government” endeavor. They rushed to spend trillions of dollars on the Iraq war and military spending that exceeded the collective spending of the next nine nations with the highest military spending. The New Democrats demanded that all Democrats cheer this wasteful government spending, which harmed our military, maimed and killed our troops, and maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. The New Democrats claim that the federal budget deficits and so-called “funding gaps” on the safety net mandate massive cuts in social spending programs. They promote invasions and unnecessary and harmful military spending programs that could easily “pay for” those social programs if austerity really were a desirable policy (it is not).
Note that each of these examples of the New Democrats’ black hole of hypocrisy also represented an assault on the American working class. Our service members are typically working class. The people hurt most by austerity’s denial of full employment are the working class. The people who gain enormously from austerity are Wall Street elites and the top one-ten-thousandth of one percent. The people hurt most by budget cuts in social programs and the safety net are the working class. The people hurt most by the New Democrats’ embrace of the three “de’s” are the working class.
The New Democrats are shocked that after waging their long war against the white working class – the white working class turned on the New Democrats’ candidate. Who could ever have guessed that after the New Democrats abused the working class for over 30 years, the white working class would decide to return the favor? (Again, yes, I understand that the Trump administration is betraying the working class.)
H.R.6504 - To prohibit the use of United States Government funds to provide assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to countries supporting those organizations, and for other purposes.114th Congress (2015-2016)
Thursday, January 26, 2017
spiked | Last week the BBC aired a documentary called Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?. It investigated the best approaches for parents to take if their child has gender-dysphoria issues. It generated immense controversy, not least for featuring the views of Kenneth Zucker (pictured), a doctor considered a leading authority on gender dysphoria until he was fired from Canada’s largest child gender clinic for allegedly practising conversion therapy.
Trans activists were so terrified of what the interviewees in the documentary might say that they started a petition demanding the documentary be shelved until it had been ‘reviewed by experts’. Eleven thousand people signed the petition. ‘No transgender experts in the UK have watched over this programme, which potentially may have a transphobic undertone’, stated Lucas Johnston, creator of the petition. ‘I have no issue with Dr Zucker having an opinion’, he continued, ‘but I do have an issue when that opinion is being spread on primetime national television to potentially millions of viewers… We are not attempting to censor an opinion or block a civil debate from occurring. We just want to have the documentary independently reviewed by an expert before it is aired.’
But if the doc had been pulled pending review by experts, then it would effectively have been banned, and Dr Zucker’s opinion would have been censored. Some interviewees in the documentary disagreed with Zucker, meaning their voices would have been silenced too. Also, if Zucker really is such a crank, as trans activists claim, wouldn’t the British public be able to see that for themselves? Allowing an expert to decide whether a TV documentary should or should not be broadcast would set a dangerous precedent. It would mean the public not being allowed to make up their minds for themselves; an expert would do it for us.
On the subject of experts, what about the more than 500 clinicians and academics who signed a petition protesting against Zucker’s dismissal? Indeed, Zucker’s former employer, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, took down from its website its review of Zucker’s practises because it was shown to contain unsubstantiated claims and one very damaging accusation that proved to be completely false.
The day before the documentary went out, the Guardian posted an article quoting ‘very scared and very worried’ activists. They were criticising a documentary none of them had seen. During production, the documentary makers approached Susanne Green, CEO of the trans charity Mermaids, to ask her if she knew anyone who had de-transitioned. She asked, ‘Why are you focusing on this angle?’. But they didn’t focus on this angle. The finished documentary features just one person who regretted transitioning. I learnt this from actually watching it. It’s always a good idea to watch things before deciding whether they’re good or bad.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
libertyblitzkrieg | Now here’s his final paragraph, and it’s the most important one in the entire piece. He accidentally exposes the key flaw in his strategy and why it is doomed to failure.
These are dark days in American politics, but Democrats and progressives must never forget that we are in fact the majority of people in this country. Each of the last three presidential elections have proved that there is a new American majority consisting of the overwhelming majority of people of color and a meaningful minority of whites who vote progressive. The mission of the DNC and its next chair is to start now to put in place the infrastructure to translate that population majority into an electoral majority in enough states to win back the White House and Congress so that we can continue to build a vibrant, just, inclusive multiracial society. That journey begins with making sure the next DNC chair has the skills, experience, strategy and sophistication to lead us on that journey. We’ll ask them these questions and more on Monday.
He claims “Democrats and progressives must never forget that we are in fact the majority of people in this country.” Note, the key part of this statement is “Democrats and progressives.” If Democrats aren’t progressives, what are they? Neoliberals of course, but he doesn’t want to say that for obvious reasons. Ultimately, this betrays the core flaw in his logic. You can’t say “Democrats and progressives are the majority” if those two groups ideologically clash on everything. At the end of the day, this majority coalition he expects to win elections based on demographics isn’t really a coalition at all.
To summarize, nowhere in this article is there any sort of discussion about economic decay, corporate power, militarism, etc. Why is that? The reason is that the Democrats (ie, neoliberals) don’t want to focus on issues their donors won’t like. Identity politics is perfect for a corporate-Wall Street based Democratic Party. The truly rich and powerful in this country love identity politics and fund it like mad, because identity politics diverts attention away from economic populism, and poses no real threat to them.
israelshamir | Men love women, we are made that way. We love their beautiful bodies and their compassionate souls, their high spirit and their subtle mind. They are our lovers, friends, comrades. In all the history of art, there was perhaps one poet, Palladas of Alexandria, who said he abhorred women and even that could be a case of sour grapes. Pity that in our post-Christian, or even anti-Christian society a very old type of women has been reconstructed, that of the women who broke with Logos and united with the dark heathen spirit. Debased and debasing, they are eager to serve their Dark Lord of Wall Street.
Even more revolting are the men who had sent these poor misled souls to riot in the cities of America, hoping to provoke police or public violence. They know it was difficult for real men to defend themselves against a women’s attack, and they use that to the utmost.
A Russian Jewish writer Dmitry Bykov considered it a standard Jewish stratagem: they send a woman to provoke a man with nasty words and insults; if he responds, they attack him in defending the offended womanhood, he wrote in his amusing Living Souls. The Jewish masterminds of the virago revolt – George Soros and his fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, who pledged $100 million for the regime change, utilised this time-honoured subterfuge.
The viragos were joined by LGBT, the evil Tetragrammaton, modern worshippers of Cybele. Cybele priests and worshippers castrated themselves in front of their goddess. This is the aim of the gender agenda: castration of the male. Now they have been defeated, as they were defeated centuries ago, and they are not taking it lying down.
So it is not a shift from Democrats to Republicans – it is a shift from Cybele to Christ. This esoteric side of the regime change had been clear to the protagonists. That’s why Trump went to church hand in hand with his lady-wife just before the oath, thus ceremonially restoring the normal order of things. That’s why Trump by his first blessed act has removed the LGBT smut page off the White House site, restoring its whiteness.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
unz | The ‘they’ stands for those individuals and groups in the power system who operate beyond legal limits as a hydra-headed entity, whose coordination depends on the project, campaign, mission, or operation at hand. Those with much power got away with excessive extralegal use of it since the beginning of this century because systems of holding the powerful to account have crumbled on both sides of the Atlantic. Hence, potential opposition to what the reality architects were doing dwindled to almost nothing. At the same time, people whose job or personal inclination leads them to ferret out truth were made to feel guilty for pursuing it.
The best way, I think, to make sense of how this works is to study it as a type of intimidation. Sticking to the official story because you have to may not be quite as bad as forced religious conversion with a gun pointed at your head, but it belongs to the same category. It begins with the triggering of odd feelings of guilt. At least that is how I remember it. Living in Tokyo, I had just read Mark Lane’s Rush To Judgment, the first major demolishing in book form of the Warren Report on the murder of John F. Kennedy, when I became aware that I had begun to belong to an undesirable category of people who were taking the existence of conspiracies seriously. We all owe thanks to writers of Internet-based samizdat literature who’ve recently reminded us that the pejorative use of the conspiracy label stems from one of the greatest misinformation successes of the CIA begun in 1967.
So the campaign to make journalists feel guilty for their embarrassing questions dates from before Dick Cheney and Rove and Bush. But it has only reached a heavy duty phase after the moment that I see as having triggered the triumph of political untruth.
We have experienced massive systemic intimidation since 9/11. For the wider public we have the absurdities of airport security – initially evidenced by mountains of nail-clippers – reminding everyone of the arbitrary coercive potential that rests with the authorities. Every time people are made to take off their belts and shoes – to stick only to the least inane instances – they are reminded: yes, we can do this to you! Half of Boston or all of France can be placed under undeclared martial law to tell people: yes, we have you under full control! For journalists unexamined guilt feelings still play a major role. The serious ones feel guilty for wanting to ask disturbing questions, and so they reaffirm that they still belong to ‘sane’ humanity rather than the segment with extraterrestrials in flying saucers in its belief system. But there is a confused interaction with another guilty feeling of not having pursued unanswered questions. Its remedy appears to be a doubling down on the official story. Why throw in fairly common lines like “I have no time for truthers” unless you feel that this is where the shoe pinches?
You will have noticed a fairly common response when the 9/11 massacre enters a discussion. Smart people will say that they “will not go there”, which brings to mind the “here be dragons” warning on uncharted bits of medieval maps. That response is not stupid. It hints at an understanding that there is no way back once you enter that realm. There is simply no denying that if you accept the essential conclusions of the official 9/11 report you must also concede that laws of nature stopped working on that particular day. And, true enough, if you do go there and bear witness publicly to what you see, you may well be devoured; your career in many government positions, the media and even academia is likely to come to an end.
So, for the time being we are stuck with a considerable chunk of terra incognita relating to recognized political knowledge; which is an indispensable knowledge if you want to get current world affairs and the American role in it into proper perspective.
Mapping the motives of those who decide “not to go there” may be a way to begin breaking through this disastrous deadlock. Holding onto your job is an honorable motivation when you have a family to maintain. The career motivation is not something to scorn. There is also an entirely reasonable expectation that once you go there you lose your voice publicly to address very important social abuse and political misdeeds. I think it is not difficult to detect authors active on internet samizdat sites who have that foremost in mind. Another possible reason for not going there is the more familiar one, akin to the denial that one has a dreadful disease. Also possible is an honorable position of wishing to preserve social order in the face of a prospect of very dramatic political upheaval caused by revelations about a crime so huge that hardly anything in America’s history can be compared to it. Where could such a thing end – civil war? Martial law?
What I find more difficult to stomach is the position of someone who is worshiped by what used to be the left, and who has been guiding that class of politically interested Americans as to where they can and cannot go. Noam Chomsky does not merely keep quiet about it, but mocks students who raise logical questions prompted by their curiosity, thereby discouraging a whole generation studying at universities and active in civil rights causes. One can only hope that this overrated analyst of the establishment, who helps keep the most embarrassing questions out of the public sphere, trips over the contradictions and preposterousness of his own judgments and crumples in full view of his audience.
The triumph of political untruth has brought into being a vast system of political intimidation. Remember then that the intimidater does not really care what you believe or not, but impresses you with the fact that you have no choice. That is the essence of the exercise of brute power. With false flag events the circumstantial evidence sometimes appears quite transparently false and, indeed could be interpreted as having been purposeful. Consider the finding of passports or identity papers accidentally left by terrorists, or their almost always having been known to and suspected by the police? What of their death through police shooting before they can be interrogated? Could these be taunting signals of ultimate power to a doubting public: Now you! Dare contradict us! Are the persons killed by the police the same who committed the crime? Follow-up questions once considered perfectly normal and necessary by news media editors are conspicuous by their absence.
How can anyone quarrel with Rove’s prophecy. He told Suskind that we will forever be studying newly created realities. This is what the mainstream media continue to do. His words made it very clear: you have no choice!
A question that will be in the minds of perhaps many as they consider the newly sworn in president of the United States, who like John F. Kennedy appears to have understood that “Intelligence” leads a dangerously uncontrolled life of its own: At what point will he give in to the powers of an invisible government, as he is made to reckon that he also has no choice?
newrepublic | “We really aspire to be like the Kochs,” Brock told BuzzFeed, one of the first to break the story of the summit, which is called Democracy Matters 17. Brock acknowledged that another group of wealthy Democratic donors already exists—Democracy Alliance, whose donors include the billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer—but Brock thinks that the DA has shirked its duty. The Kochs have been instrumental in building the GOP’s overwhelming advantages at the state and local level, and Brock likes what he sees. “The DA has veered away from politics,” he said. “This conference is openly political.”
Brock is clearly trying to rebrand a set of distressed assets—to make sure that the money spigot stays on now that he has failed in his primary goal of getting Clinton elected. Perhaps this wouldn’t matter so much if Brock could prove himself to be an effective string-puller and put Democrats back in power. Unfortunately for Democrats, Brock fundamentally misunderstands what the Koch network is and why it works. The program for the Democracy Matters 17 summit, obtained by the New Republic, shows that his budding Koch imitation is being built on a shoddy foundation.
Monday, January 23, 2017
theatlantic | Protests are a tricky thing, and America isn’t Russia. Protests can bring change, like Black Lives Matter did, and they can topple governments, as they did in Egypt. But in the case of the former, the protests became a movement that reached off the streets and into the presidential race, in part because there was a White House and Justice Department willing to take their concerns seriously. In the case of the latter, there was a political movement—the Muslim Brotherhood—that had been preparing for the moment for decades. Even those cases have proved fleeting: The Muslim Brotherhood took its own authoritarian turn after gaining power in democratic elections, and along with the Tahrir Square movement has since been crushed by the revanche of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Black Lives Matter, vilified by the Republican Party and the Trump campaign, will now potentially face a Justice Department headed by an Alabaman who has been accused of going after black civil rights activists. Both may end up back where they started: on the streets and unheard.
Talking to the protesters in Washington today, it was hard not to hear the echoes of the weakness of the Moscow protests five years ago: a vague, unstructured cause; too much diversity of purpose; no real political path forward; and the real potential for the meaning of the day to melt into self-congratulatory complacency. A Los Angeles woman showing me photos of the march afterward wondered, “Where was everyone before? We didn’t do enough.” Rallying and making funny signs is easy; winning real power in American politics is not.
reddit | "Not ur bitch" - don't worry, nobody made the mistake of thinking that you were.
"I'm with HER" - oh, we couldn't tell, you're here virtue signalling and doing nothing of value, you fit right in.
"BUILD BRIDGES NOT WALLS" - well see we're physically connected to Canada and Mexico, so a bridge doesn't make much sense there.
"Feminism is the radical notion that" - I'll stop you right there, feminism is the radical notion that you're an idiotic c**t who doesn't even know that you have more rights than men in your home country and who literally doesn't care that women are having their genitals mutilated, are being forced into marriage, and raped/killed in the middle east by an actual oppressive ideology that feminists support yet our president has sworn to protect you and LGBT members from. But FUCK YEAH FEMINISM!
"Unity" - only we'll force you to cooperate with us, we're not budging. And we're the inclusive, diverse ones!
"Women use our Power for Good" - what power? This isn't a comic book where you have super powers. The only thing you did was waste a lot of your time protesting.. nothing, literally nothing, and then leave a mess on this sidewalk. I'm still waiting for those "powers" and for this "good" you speak of.
"PU$$Y POWER" - oh so you're 12? Cool, I was busy hacking computers when I was 12, it's why I have a job and you're stuck walking around carrying that retarded sign.
"CHOOSE LOVE" - what happened to hope? Did Trump manage to destroy your hope? Fucking A, what a president!
"DONT BACK DOWN" - wait what? Why would you tell me not to back down? I mean you don't have to because I won't, but that's weird.
I need to watch videos of this march. If this is just a small sampling of those signs, I'm sure there's so much entertainment to be had.
Edit: thanks for the gold, I'm going to use it to plate the inside of my apartment so I can feel more like Trump!
Sunday, January 22, 2017
thesaker | Just hours ago Donald Trump was finally sworn in as the President of the United States. Considering all the threats hanging over this event, this is good news because at least for the time being, the Neocons have lost their control over the Executive Branch and Trump is now finally in a position to take action. The other good news is Trump’s inauguration speech which included this historical promise “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow”. Could that really mean that the USA has given up its role of World Hegemon? The mere fact of asking the question is already an immensely positive development as nobody would have asked it had Hillary Clinton been elected.
The other interesting feature of Trump’s speech is that it centered heavily on people power and on social justice. Again, the contrast with the ideological garbage from Clinton could not be greater. Still, this begs a much more puzzling question: how much can a multi-millionaire capitalist be trusted when he speaks of people power and social justice – not exactly what capitalists are known for, at least not amongst educated people. Furthermore, a Marxist reader would also remind us that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” and that it makes no sense to expect a capitalist to suddenly renounce imperialism.
But what was generally true in 1916 is not necessarily true in 2017.
For one thing, let’s begin by stressing that the Trump Presidency was only made possible by the immense financial, economic, political, military and social crisis facing the USA today. Eight years of Clinton, followed by eight years of Bush Jr and eight years of Obama have seen a massive and full-spectrum decline in the strength of the United States which were sacrificed for the sake of the AngloZionist Empire. This crisis is as much internal as it is external and the election of Trump is a direct consequence of this crisis. In fact, Trump is the first one to admit that it is the terrible situation in which the USA find themselves today which brought him to power with a mandate of the regular American people (Hillary’s “deplorables”) to “drain the DC swamp” and “make America”, as opposed to the American plutocracy, “great again”. This might be somethhing crucial: I cannot imagine Trump trying to simply do “more of the same” like his predecessors did or trying to blindly double-down like the Neocons always try to.
I am willing to bet that Trump really and sincerely believes that the USA is in a deep crisis and that a new, different, sets of policies must be urgently implemented. If that assumption of mine proves to be correct, then this is by definition very good news for the entire planet because whatever Trump ends up doing (or not doing), he will at least not push his country into a nuclear confrontation with Russia. And yes, I think that it is possible that Trump has come to the conclusion that imperialism has stopped working for the USA, that far from being the solution to the contradictions of capitalism, imperialism might well have become its most self-defeating feature.