Wednesday, March 23, 2016

wikileaks wednesdays are for remembering the heroic blows struck against global corporatism


wikipedia |  2012[edit]

The Global Intelligence Files[edit]

Main article: 2012 Stratfor email leak
On 27 February 2012, WikiLeaks began to publish what it called "The Global Intelligence Files", more than 5,000,000 e-mails from Stratfor dating from July 2004 to late December 2011. It was said to show how a private intelligence agency operates and how it targets individuals for their corporate and government clients.[144] A few days before, on 22 February, WikiLeaks had released its second insurance file via BitTorrent. The file is named "wikileaks-insurance-20120222.tar.bz2.aes" and about 65 GB in size.[145][146]

Syria Files[edit]

Main article: Syria Files
On 5 July 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing the Syria Files, more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies, dating from August 2006 to March 2012.[147]

2013[edit]

PlusD[edit]

In April 2013, WikiLeaks releases 1.7 million U.S. diplomatic and intelligence reports including Kissinger cables.[148]

Prosecution and prison documents for Anakata[edit]

Released on 19 05 2013.[149]

Spy Files 3[edit]

Wednesday 4 September 2013 at 1600 UTC, WikiLeaks released ’Spy Files #3’ – 249 documents from 92 global intelligence contractors.[150]

Draft Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement IP Charter[edit]

Draft text for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Intellectual Property charter.[151]

2014[edit]

Trade in Services Agreement chapter draft[edit]

WikiLeaks published a secret draft of the Financial Services Annex of the Trade in Services Agreement in June 2014. On its website, the organization provided an analysis of the leaked document. TISA, an international trade deal aimed at market liberalization, covers 50 countries and 68% of the global services industry. The agreement's negotiations have been criticized for a lack of transparency.[152]

Australian bribery case suppression order[edit]

On 29 July 2014, WikiLeaks released a secret gagging order issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria that forbid the Australian press from coverage of a multimillion-dollar bribery investigation involving the nation's central bank and several international leaders.[153] Indonesian, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Australian government officials were named in the order, which was suppressed to "prevent damage to Australia's international relations that may be caused by the publication of material that may damage the reputations of specified individuals who are not the subject of charges in these proceedings."[154]
Public criticism of the suppression order followed the leak. Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner, said “Secret law is often unaccountable and inadequately justified. The government has some explaining to do as to why it sought such an extraordinary order, and the court should reconsider the need for it now that its action has come to light.”[155] At a media conference, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the gagging order, calling for an open and transparent investigation.[156]

2015[edit]

TPP Investment Chapter[edit]

On 25 March 2015 WikiLeaks released the "Investment Chapter" from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement.
"The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies." --Julian Assange

Sony archives[edit]

Trident Nuclear Weapons System[edit]

Whistle blower, Royal Navy Able Seaman William McNeilly exposed serious security issues relate to the UK's nuclear weapons system.

Complete list[edit]

This article only covers a small subset of the leaked documents—those that have attracted significant attention in the mainstream press. Wikileaks has the complete list, organised by country or by year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fruity Pebbles Call Trump Fascist While Granny Goodness Partners With Googol to Overthrow Assad...,

 

WashingtonExaminer |  This sounds like a pretty huge deal, so you’d think the American media would be all over it. Not quite. In fact, the only story I’ve seen emanating from the U.S. press was published by the Washington Examiner.
Here are a few excerpts from the story titled, Clinton Email Reveals: Google Sought Overthrow of Syria’s Assad:
Google in 2012 sought to help insurgents overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to State Department emails receiving fresh scrutiny this week.

Messages between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s team and one of the company’s executives detailed the plan for Google to get involved in the region.

“Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool … that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from,” Jared Cohen, the head of what was then the company’s “Google Ideas” division, wrotein a July 2012 email to several top Clinton officials.

“Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition,” Cohen said, adding that the plan was for Google to surreptitiously give the tool to Middle Eastern media.
Is this a technology company or the C.I.A.?
“Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria,” he said.

“Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything [else] you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact,” Cohen concluded.

The message was addressed to deputy secretary of state Bill Burns; Alec Ross, a senior Clinton advisor; and Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. Sullivan subsequently forwarded Cohen’s proposal to Clinton, describing it as “a pretty cool idea.”

Cohen worked as a low-level staffer at the State Department until 2010, when he was hired to lead Google Ideas, but was tied to the use of social media to incite social uprisings even before he left the department. He once reportedly asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to hold off of conducting system maintenance that officials believed could have impeded a brief 2009 uprising in Iran. Julian Assange, who founded the secret-leaking website WikiLeaks, has for years referred to Cohen as Google’s “director of regime change.”
Longtime Liberty Blitzkrieg readers will be familiar with the name Jared Cohen, a figure who played a key role in the post: Highlights from the Incredible 2011 Interview of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange by Google’s Eric Schmidt (must read if you missed it the first time).
Moving along, I want to once again stress the fact that the U.S. media has completely ignored this story.

Mr. Miracle Opposes The Unsustainable Orthodox Neocon Team-America World Police Fantasy


WaPo |  “At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves?’ ” Trump said in the editorial board meeting. “I know the outer world exists, and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities.”

Trump said U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. “We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” he said, adding later, “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”

Trump praised George P. Shultz, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, as a model diplomat and, on the subject of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, said America’s allies are “not doing anything.”

“Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we’re doing all of the lifting,” Trump said. “They’re not doing anything. And I say: ‘Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? . . . Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially, the third world war with Russia?’ ”

While the Obama administration has faced pressure from congressional critics who have advocated for a more active U.S. role in supporting Ukraine, the U.S. military has limited its assistance to nonlethal equipment such as vehicles and night-vision gear. European nations have taken the lead in crafting a fragile cease-fire designed to decrease hostility between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Trump sounded a similar note in discussing the U.S. presence in the Pacific. He questioned the value of massive military investments in Asia and wondered aloud whether the United States still is capable of being an effective peacekeeping force there.

“South Korea is very rich, great industrial country, and yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do,” Trump said. “We’re constantly sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games — we’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.”

Such talk is likely to trigger anxiety in South Korea, where a U.S. force of 28,000 has provided a strong deterrent to North Korean threats for decades.

Asked whether the United States benefits from its involvement in Asia, Trump replied, “Personally, I don’t think so.” He added: “I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we’re a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation.”

One Aspect of Corporatist Fascism Pretending To Be Manners...,


What Exactly Does The Costly Little Apartheid Garrison State Contribute to U.S. Security?


WaPo |  Trump has elicited strong reaction from many U.S. Jews, who are divided about how to respond to a candidate who has set off so much concern about racism and xenophobia — causes Jewish leaders say are of particular alarm to their communities.

Among the hundreds who waited to get into the Verizon Center before the talk were Debbie Kurinsky and Jacquelyn Furman, who came from Needham, Mass. They had no problem with the organization’s decision to invite Trump to speak.

“I don’t understand it. I think it’s not respectful of what the organization is trying to achieve,” Kurinsky said of people who planned to walk out.

Furman said attendees should listen to Trump regardless of their own politics.

“I personally think he’s a bigot. I’m not planning to endorse him. I plan to welcome him civilly.”
Milling around with those waiting to get in and a few protesters was a man selling $15 yarmulkes with the candidates’ names on them.

Among those who walked out was rabbinic student Rena Singer. Before the event, waiting in line, said she and her classmates at Hebrew Union College in New York had discussed how to handle the AIPAC talk. Some wanted to listen, saying that AIPAC had as much of a duty to invite Trump as any other candidate, or that the Jewish community needs to be able to work with any politician.

Singer said that at first she was unsure. “But then I thought about the reason I decided I wanted to be a Reform rabbi in the first place,” she said. “It’s a movement that has historically stood up to hatred and injustice.”

So as she waited in a long line to enter the Verizon Center, she didn’t plan to stay inside long. “I look forward to walking out.”

Waiting just behind Singer, David Rubin, 18, of Woodbine, N.Y., said he planned to stay for the speech. “Whether I agree with him or not, he is running for president.”

I'm Granny Goodness and I Absolutely Approve of Institutional Violence and Coercion!


theatlantic |  At the University of California, there are students who believe that Israel’s creation was a mistake, that its occupation of Palestinian territory is unjust, that it should cease to exist as a Jewish state, or even that it should cease to exist entirely. And there are students who believe that Israel’s creation was an indispensable lifeline for Jews, that its residents have been under siege for most of the country’s existence, that Arabs and Palestinians bear outsized responsibility for regional conflict, and that anti-Semitism lurks beneath many condemnations of Israel.

Thanks to liberal norms and speech protections, these students co-exist at public institutions of higher education, where all can voice their opinions. Yet the illiberal temptation to declare the other side’s position to be illegitimate is ever-present.

Enter the UC regents. As yet, the body that governs one of America’s largest systems of higher education hasn’t weighed in on whether human life begins at conception, whether or not God exists, or whether the Yankees or Red Sox are the better baseball team. But it just decided to declare that “anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.”

Almost no one objects to non-coercive denunciations of anti-Semitism. But the declaration that anti-Zionism has no place on campus has divided the UC  system’s faculty:
One letter signed by more than 130 UC faculty members supported naming anti-Zionism as an expression of anti-Semitism, saying students need guidance on “when healthy political debate crosses the line into anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry and discrimination, and when legitimate criticism of Israel devolves into denying Israel's right to exist.”
But another letter from more than 250 UC professors expressed fear that the proposed statement would restrict free speech and academic freedom to teach, debate and research about the complex and tumultuous history of Israel and the Zionist movement.
The latter group has the better argument. The UC regents’ position seems like “a warning to those students or faculty members who have fundamental disagreements with the state of Israel,” the Los Angeles Times editorializes. “It apparently rules out of bounds an assertion by, say, a Palestinian professor that Israel's creation was unfair and unjustifiable, or by a Jewish student that Israel should be replaced by a nonsectarian state. Both are ideas that this page opposes but they are fully entitled to protection at a public university under the 1st Amendment.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

I don't recall Charles Murray discussing globalization in Coming Apart...,


WaPo |  The Republican establishment began losing its party to Donald Trump on May 24, 2000, at 5:41 p.m., on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Urged on by their presidential standard-bearer, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and by nearly all of the business lobbyists who represented the core of the party’s donor class, three-quarters of House Republicans voted to extend the status of permanent normal trade relations to China. They were more than enough, when added to a minority of Democrats, to secure passage of a bill that would sail through the Senate and be signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The legislation, a top Republican priority, held the promise of greater economic prosperity for Americans. But few could predict that it would cause a series of economic and political earthquakes that has helped put the GOP in the difficult spot it is in today: with the most anti-trade Republican candidate in modern history, Trump, moving closer to clinching the party’s nomination.

“I try not to regret things,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a Trump supporter who was one of 83 senators to vote for the China bill. “That’s one I regret.”

“The Republican electorate has gone along with their leaders, begrudgingly, for 20 or 30 years,” Sessions said. “I supported all these trade agreements ... but it’s becoming clear that the promises that were made weren’t true.”

The 2000 vote effectively unleashed a flood of outsourcing to China, which in turn exported trillions of dollars of cheap goods back to the United States. Over the next 10 years, economists have concluded, the expanded trade with China cost the United States at least 2 million jobs. It was the strongest force in an overall manufacturing decline that cost 5 milion jobs. Those workers were typically men whose education stopped after high school, a group that has seen its wages fall by 15 percent after adjusting for inflation.

Tard Bidnis: the tard wing of the GOP must answer for Louisiana...,



NYMag |  Louisiana has replicated these results. When Bobby Jindal moved into the governor’s mansion in 2008, he inherited a $1 billion surplus. When he moved out last year, Louisiana faced a $1.6 billion projected deficit. Part of that budgetary collapse can be put on the past year's plummeting oil prices. The rest should be placed on Jindal passing the largest tax cut in the state's history and then refusing to reverse course when the state's biggest industry started tanking. Jindal's giveaway to the wealthiest citizens in the country's second-poorest state cost Louisiana roughly $800 million every year. To make up that gap, Jindal slashed social services, raided the state’s rainy-day funds, and papered over the rest with reckless borrowing. Today, the state is scrambling to resolve a $940 million budget gap for this fiscal year, with a $2 billion shortfall projected for 2017. Like Bizarro Vermont, Louisiana can no longer afford to provide public defenders for all its criminal defendants. Its Department of Children and Family Services may soon be unable to investigate every reported instance of child abuse. Education funding is down 44 percent since Jindal took office. The state’s hospitals are likely to see at least $64 million in funding cuts this year.

What has happened to these states should be a national story; because we are one election away from it being our national story. Ted Cruz claims his tax plan will cost less than $1 trillion in lost revenue over the next ten years. Leaving aside the low bar the Texas senator sets for himself — my giveaway to the one percent will cost a bit less than the Iraq War! — Cruz only stays beneath $1 trillion when you employ the kind of “dynamic scoring” that has consistently underestimated the costs of tax cuts in Kansas. Under a conventional analysis, the bill runs well over $3 trillion, with 44 percent of that lost money accruing to the one percent. John Kasich’s tax plan includes cutting the top marginal rate by more than ten percent along with a similar cut to the rates on capital gains and business taxes. Even considering Kasich’s appetite for Social Security cuts, his plan must rely on the same supply-side voodoo that Kansas has so thoroughly discredited. As for the most likely GOP nominee, even with dynamic scoring, his tax cuts would cost $10 trillion over the next ten years, with 40 percent of that gargantuan sum filling the pockets of Trump’s economic peers.

If any of these men are elected president, they will almost certainly take office with a House and Senate eager to scale up the “red-state model.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said of Brownback’s Kansas, This is exactly the sort of thing we (Republicans) want to do here, in Washington, but can’t, at least for now.” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s celebrated budgets all depend on the same magical growth that has somehow escaped the Sunflower State.

This campaign cycle has inspired an unusual amount of soul-searching in Republican circles. The rise of Trump has forced many conservatives to reckon with the moral odiousness of Nixon’s Southern Strategy — a blueprint for GOP electoral success that relied on coded appeals to white racial animus. Unfortunately, the fall of Kansas has failed to inspire a similar reckoning with the policies that those ugly advertisements were designed to sell. The GOP front-runner’s praise of mob violence and religious discrimination has spurred much righteous outrage from the National Review. Kansas’s shortened school-years have spurred none.

When Donald Trump makes a gaffe, reporters confront Republican leaders and demand a response. When the GOP's economic platform decimates two U.S. states, a similar confrontation is in order.

Tard Bidnis: the tard wing of the GOP must answer for Kansas...,


msnbc | Not long after he made the transition from senator to governor in late 2010, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback boasted about his grand ambitions. The far-right Kansan, working with a GOP-led legislature, would cut taxes far beyond what the state could afford, in what Brownback described at the time as “a real-live experiment.”

He was optimistic, though the Republican governor added at the time, “We’ll see how it works.”

We sure will. In his first term, Brownback’s “experiment” led to debt downgrades, weak growth, and state finances in shambles. Perhaps the jobs picture is more heartening? Guess again. The Kansas City Star’s Yael Abouhalkah reported today on the state’s latest job numbers.
Let this stunning news sink in: The Kansas jobs report released Friday shows the state lost another 1,900 jobs in February and now has 5,400 fewer jobs than it did one year ago.

That’s right: The Sunflower State had a “growth” rate of negative 0.4 percent from February 2015 to February 2016, the first time that’s happened in more than five years. That negative employment rate is one of the worst in the nation.
The same piece noted that, just a year ago during his re-election campaign, Brownback set a goal of 25,000 new jobs, per year, for a total of 100,000 new jobs in his second term. Eighteen months later, Kansas has created 1,600 jobs.

Put another way, the GOP governor set a projection of over 2,000 jobs per month. Since then, Kansas has created about 90 jobs per month.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

the hysterical flailing and bleating of global elites gets more pathetic by the moment...,


Guardian |  The prospect of Donald Trump winning the race to the White House has joined China’s slowing economy, the Greek debt crisis and Britain’s EU referendum as a major threat to the global economy, according to a respected risk analysis firm.

The Economist Intelligence Unit said the Republican frontrunner could prove a dangerous world leader, damaging global trade, stirring up trouble with Beijing and adding to instability in the Middle East.

The EIU placed the possibility of Trump being sworn in as US president next January sixth on their latest list of global threats, as serious as a resurgence of jihadi terrorism, and only marginally less risky than the collapse of the eurozone.

The US property tycoon had been “exceptionally hostile towards free trade” during his campaign, and had advocated putting troops on the ground in Syria to fight Islamic State, the unit said.

“In the event of a Trump victory, his hostile attitude to free trade, and alienation of Mexico and China in particular, could escalate rapidly into a trade war – and at the least scupper the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the US and 11 other American and Asian states signed in February 2016.”

It added: “His militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East [and ban on all Muslim travel to the US] would be a potent recruitment tool for jihadi groups, increasing their threat both within the region and beyond.”

a Trump victory will not dislodge neocons...,


unz |  Neoconservatives have their own characteristic American nationalism, which is based on both energetic involvement in the affairs of other states and calls for further immigration, which now comes mostly from the Third World. Both of these foundational positions are justified on the grounds that American identity rests on a creed, which stresses universal equality. Most anyone from anywhere can join the American nation by adopting the neocons’ preferred creed; and once here these “new Americans, “ it is argued, will become hardy defenders of our propositional nationhood while providing the cheap labor needed for economic growth. Perhaps most importantly, neocons have no trouble attracting corporate donors, who hold their views on immigration and their fervent Zionism. Australian newspaper baron Rupert Murdoch, who finances their media outlets, has been particularly generous to his neoconservative clients but is far from their only benefactor.

The hundreds of millions of dollars that are poured into neoconservative or neoconservative-friendly policy institutes annually are not likely to dry up in the foreseeable future. A meeting just held on Sea Island off the coast of Georgia for the purpose of devising and executing a plan to bring down Trump, included, according to Pat Buchanan, all the usual suspects. Neocon journalist Bill Kristol,, executives of neocon policy institute AEI, and Republican bigwigs and politicians were all conspicuously represented at this gathering of the “conservative “ in-crowd , and gargantuan sums of money were pledged to destroy the reputation of someone whom the attendees hoped to destroy.

If the neocons were falling, certainly they are hiding their descent well. Finally, there seems to be a continuing congruence between the liberal internationalism preached by neoconservatives and such architects of America’s foreign policy as the Council on Foreign Relations. Although the Old Right and libertarians may lament these troublemakers, the neoconservatives do not labor alone in imposing their will. They are the most out-front among those calling for an aggressive American internationalism; and this has been a dominant stance among American foreign policy elites for at least a century.

It is hard to imagine that the neocons will lose these assets because they’ve been branding Trump a fascist or because they’re unwilling to back the GOP presidential candidate, no matter who he or she is. Powerbrokers in their own right, they don’t have to worry about passing litmus tests. They enjoy unbroken control of the “conservative movement,” and benefit from the demonstrable inability of a more genuine Right to displace them. Matthew Richer asks whether Donald Trump’s election would spell “the end of NR’s influence over the conservative movement in America.” The answer is an emphatic no, unless those who distribute the funding for the neoconservative media empire decide to close down this particular fixture. Otherwise Rich Lowry and his buds will go on being funded as agents for disseminating neocon party lines.

Moreover, those featured in NR‘s printed issues and/or on its widely visited website are routinely invited on to Fox-news and contribute to other interlocking neoconservative enterprises. Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg will not be thrown out of work, because they dumped toxic waste on Trump. And Max Boot will not lose his position at the WSJ because of his over-the-top tirades against Trump, after having railed non-stop for several weeks against Confederate monuments and Confederate Battle Flags. There is nothing the neocons say when they’re reaching leftward or revealing their leftist colors that the leftist media aren’t also saying, even more stridently. Pointing out the silliness of neoconservative assertions about history or the current age may help us deal with our irritation. It does not mean that we can dissuade those who fund the neoconservatives from giving them more money. They are being kept around not for their wisdom or the elegance of their prose but because they are useful to the powerful and rich.

Finally I should observe that the neocons have done so well in marginalizing their opposition on the right that it seems unlikely, as George Hawley points out in Right-Wing Critics of the Conservative Movement (University of Kansas, 2016), that the balance of power between the two sides is about to change. How exactly will a genuine Right that has not been contaminated by the neocons gain enough influence to replace them? How can such a Right, given its modest circumstances, even compete with the neocons for access to the public and for friends in high places?

Trump almost certain to win GOP nomination prior to the convention

(click here for interactive version)

zerohedge |  First it was all a joke. A media sideshow. A publicity stunt that no one really understood the purpose of.

Donald Trump was actually going to run for President. His campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” It was laughable.

Soon after the billionaire announced his candidacy, his nascent bid for the White House took on a more serious tone, but not because anyone was taking him more seriously. Rather, because his comments about Mexican immigrants were so inflammatory that it was difficult to dismiss them with derisive humor.

From that point on, it was all downhill for the GOP establishment. Trump racked up popular support, defying every law of conventional politics along the way.

Each and every time analysts and pundits doubted him, he prevailed and that unlikely momentum carried right over into the caucuses and primaries and now, after Super Tuesday 3, Trump has effectively knocked out every Republican challenger except Ted Cruz (let’s face it, Kasich isn’t going to get the nod).

Still, all commentators and political “experts” want to talk about is a contested Republican convention in Cleveland. While that’s certainly an interesting outcome to consider as it forces us to look back at political history to understand the precedent and what that precedent might mean come July, it’s as if no one has learned anything from the past nine months.

That is, the assumption should probably be that Trump is going to lock up the nomination before the convention, not that they’ll be some kind of historic bid to rob him in four months. The media - both liberal and conservative - act as though it’s virtually impossible for him to make it to 1,237 delegates. We’re talking about a guy here who no one thought would even register in terms of poll numbers and now he's the overwhelming favorite.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

the economic growth system has reached its limits in very strange ways...,



ourfiniteworld |  We don’t just extract fossil fuels. Instead, whether we intend to or not, we get a lot of other things as well: rising debt, rising pollution, and a more complex economy.

The system acts as if whenever one pump dispenses the energy products we want, another pump disperses other products we don’t want. Let’s look at three of the big unwanted “co-products.”


1. Rising debt is an issue because fossil fuels give us things that would never have been possible, in the absence of fossil fuels. For example, thanks to fossil fuels, farmers can have such things as metal plows instead of wooden ones and barbed wire to separate their property from the property of others. Fossil fuels provide many more advanced capabilities as well, including tractors, fertilizer, pesticides, GPS systems to guide tractors, trucks to take food to market, modern roads, and refrigeration.

The benefits of fossil fuels are immense, but can only be experienced once fossil fuels are in use. Because of this, we have adapted our debt system to be a much greater part of the economy than it ever needed to be, prior to the use of fossil fuels. As the cost of fossil fuel extraction rises, ever more debt is required to place these fossil fuels in use. The Bank for International Settlements tells us that worldwide, between 2006 and 2014, the amount of oil and gas company bonds outstanding increased by an average of 15% per year, while syndicated bank loans to oil and gas companies increased by an average of 13% per year. Taken together, about $3 trillion of these types of loans to the oil and gas companies were outstanding at the end of 2014.

As the cost of fossil fuels rises, the cost of everything made using fossil fuels tends to rise as well. Cars, trucks, and homes become more expensive to build, especially if they are intended to be energy efficient. The cost of capital goods purchased by businesses rises as well, since these too are made with fossil fuels. Needless to say, the amount of debt to purchase all of these goods rises as well. Part of the reason for the increased debt is simply because it becomes more difficult for businesses and individuals to purchase needed goods out of cash flow.

As long as fossil fuel prices are rising (not just the cost of extraction), this rising debt doesn’t look like a huge problem. The rising fossil fuel prices push the general inflation rate higher. But once prices stop rising, and in fact start falling, the amount of debt outstanding suddenly seems much more onerous.
2. Rising pollution from fossil fuels is another issue as we use an increasing amount of fossil fuels. If only a tiny amount of fossil fuels is used, pollution tends not to be much of an issue. Air can remain safe for breathing and water can remain safe for drinking. Increasing CO2 pollution is not a significant issue.

Once we start using increasing amounts, pollution becomes a greater issue. Partly this is the case because natural sinks reach their saturation point. Another is the changing nature of technology as we move to more advanced techniques. Techniques such as deep sea drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and arctic drilling have pollution risks that less advanced techniques did not have.

3. A more complex economy is a less obvious co-product of the increasing use of fossil fuels. In a very simple economy, there is little need for big government and big business. If there are businesses, they can be run by a small number of individuals, with little investment in capital goods. A king, together with a handful of appointees, can operate the government if it does not provide much in the way of services such as paved roads, armies, and schools. International trade is not a huge necessity because workers can provide nearly all necessary goods and services with local materials.
The use of increasing amounts of fossil fuels changes the situation materially. Fossil fuels are what allow us to have metals in quantity–without fossil fuels, we need to cut down forests, use the trees to make charcoal, and use the charcoal to make small quantities of metals.

Once fossil fuels are available in quantity, they allow the economy to make modern capital goods, such as machines, oil drilling equipment, hydraulic dump trucks, farming equipment, and airplanes. Businesses need to be much larger to produce and own such equipment. International trade becomes much more important, because a much broader array of materials is needed to make and operate these devices. Education becomes ever more important, as devices become increasingly complex.

Governments become larger, to deal with the additional services they now need to provide.
Increasing complexity has a downside. If an increasing share of the output of the economy is funneled into management pay, expenditures for capital goods, and other expenditures associated with an increasingly complex economy (including higher taxes, and more dividend and interest payments), less of the output of the economy is available for “ordinary” laborers–including those without advanced training or supervisory responsibilities.

As a result, pay for these workers is likely to fall relative to the rising cost of living. Some would-be workers may drop out of the labor force, because the benefits of working are too low compared to other costs, such as childcare and transportation costs. Ultimately, the low wages of these workers can be expected to start causing problems for the economic system as a whole, because these workers can no longer afford the output of the system. These workers reduce their purchases of houses and cars, both of which are produced using fossil fuels and other commodities.

Ultimately, the prices of commodities fall below their cost of production. This happens because there are so many of these ordinary laborers, and the lack of good wages for these workers tends to slow the “demand” side of the economic growth loop. This is the problem that we are now experiencing. Figure 4 below shows how the system would work, if increasing complexity were not interfering with economic growth.

global government debt triple what we thought thanks to pensions..,


WSJ |  Government debt in 20 industrialized countries stands at $44 trillion.

But it’s actually a lot more than that, according to a new report. After factoring in public pension and other retirement liabilities, the debt levels nearly triple to a staggering $122 trillion.

That’s the math according to a new report from Citigroup Inc report called, “The Coming Pensions Crisis,” which analyzed government pension liabilities from 20 countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development .

“It is really a ticking time bomb,” said Charles Millard, Citi’s head of pension relations and former head of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the U.S. safety net for private-sector pensions.
To put the unstated debt levels in perspective: The additional unstated $78 trillion in retirement-related debt is equivalent to a single year of global economic output.

Citi researchers measured government pension liabilities, a combination of Social Security and public-sector pension obligations, finding the average country was carrying retirement debt of 190% versus gross domestic product—well above a 100% threshold that many experts consider concerning.

“Imagine you thought your mortgage was $440,000 but then the bank called up and said it was $1.3 million. That’s really what we’re facing,” Mr. Millard said.

rich countries have a $78 trillion pension problem


cnbc |  Dreams of lengthy cruises and beach life may be just that, with 20 of the world's biggest countries facing a pension shortfall worth $78 trillion, Citi said in a report sent on Wednesday.

"Social security systems, national pension plans, private sector pensions, and individual retirement accounts are unfunded or underfunded across the globe," pensions and insurance analysts at the bank said in the report.

"Government services, corporate profits, or retirement benefits themselves will have to be reduced to make any part of the system work. This poses an enormous challenge to employers, employees, and policymakers all over the world."

The total value of unfunded or underfunded government pension liabilities for 20 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — a group of largely wealthy countries — is $78 trillion, Citi said. (The countries studied include the U.K., France and Germany, plus several others in western and central Europe, the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Australia.)

The bank added that corporates also failed to consistently meet their pension obligations, with most U.S. and U.K. corporate pensions plans underfunded.

Friday, March 18, 2016

ironic given the collapse of both party's elites, that, divide and conquer control remains entirely intact...,


zerohedge |  Following their apparently delusional belief in the "success" of Tuesday night's violent protests, anti-Trump groups are plotting "Democracy Spring" threatening "drama in Washington" with the "largest civil disobedience action of the century." The operation, backed by Soros-funded MoveOn.org among others, warns on its website that "We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do - or until they send thousands of us to jail."

With little fanfare and almost no news media attention, some of the same radical groups involved in shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally last week are plotting a mass civil disobedience movement to begin next month. As Breitbart.com reports,
They intend to march across the East Coast in order to spark a “fire that transforms the political climate in America.”

The group is backed by numerous organizations, including the George Soros-funded groups MoveOn.org, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Demos.

Next month’s Democracy Spring chaos is set to begin with a meetup on April 2 at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

“Then, in the spirit of Granny D, the Selma to Montgomery marchers, Cesar Chavez and the farmworker pilgrimage, and others who walked for freedom, we will set out on a 10 day, 140-mile march from Philadelphia to the Nation’s Capitol,” states the website.

In Washington DC, Democracy Spring expects “thousands of Americans” to engage in a “sit-in on the Capitol building in Washington DC in what will be the largest civil disobedience action of the century.”
What do they want?
Despite the fact that many of the main groups endorsing Democracy Spring are funded by billionaire Soros, the group complains that “American elections are dominated by billionaires and big money interests who can spend unlimited sums of money on political campaigns to protect their special interests at the general expense.”
But if the status quo goes unchallenged, the 2016 election — already set to be the most billionaire-dominated, secret money-drenched, voter suppression-marred contest in modern American history — will likely yield a President and a Congress more bound to the masters of big money than ever before.
The stage is set for a bold intervention to turn the tinder of passive public frustration into a fire that transforms the political climate in America, that sparks a popular movement that can’t be stopped.
The leaders of the group have already held training sessions, the website says. Democracy Spring states it is requiring “mandatory nonviolent civil disobedience trainings twice a day for those risking arrest from April 11th-16th.”

who sponsored the hate?


newyorker |  The big donors in the Republican Party are reportedly flummoxed by the toxic rhetoric of Donald Trump. The billionaire political industrialist Charles Koch has warned that Trump’s proposed registry of Muslims in the U.S. would “destroy our free society.” After pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into promoting their right-wing libertarian views over the past four decades, and budgeting some eight hundred and eighty-nine million dollars to spend in the 2016 election cycle, he and his brother David Koch, and their donor circle, are apparently disappointed that they have bought so little control over the Republican Presidential candidates. “You’d think we could have more influence,” he lamented to the Financial Times. But, in fact, the influence of the Kochs and their fellow big donors is manifest in Trump’s use of incendiary and irresponsibly divisive rhetoric. Only a few years ago, it was they who were sponsoring the hate.

Over the July 4th weekend of 2010, I attended the fourth annual Defending the American Dream Summit, in Austin, Texas, which served in part as a training session for local Tea Party activists. The summit was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, which purported to be a nonpartisan grass-roots political-advocacy group devoted to the cause of small government, free markets, and liberty. It was in fact an organization that had been founded and heavily funded by the Kochs, whose early activism was entwined in fearmongering and racial intolerance.

The Kochs’ father, Fred Koch, the founder of Koch Industries, the hugely profitable private oil-and-chemical company that his sons inherited, was one of the original members of the John Birch Society, the ultra-conservative group that accused political opponents of treason and was at its core segregationist. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of desegregating America’s public schools, in 1954, the Birchers launched a nationwide crusade to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren. In 1960, Fred Koch wrote a self-published book describing welfare programs as a secret government plot to lure rural blacks into cities so that they could foment “a vicious race war.” Before George Wallace declared his Presidential candidacy in 1968, Fred Koch also supported an unsuccessful effort to recruit Ezra Taft Benson, the former Secretary of Agriculture and a leader of the Mormon Church, and Strom Thurmond, the South Carolina senator, to run on a platform calling for the restoration of segregation. The Birchers’ radicalism was so extreme, and delusional, they claimed that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower was a communist agent.

It’s not fair to visit the sins of the father on the sons, but Charles and David have their own dubious record of involvement with racist institutions. They themselves belonged to the John Birch Society, and, in the late sixties, Charles was a trustee at a place called the Freedom School, outside Colorado Springs, which had no black students because, its director explained to the Times, “it might present a housing problem because some of his students are segregationists.” The Freedom School was a font of extreme anti-government ideology, teaching a revisionist version of American history in which it was argued that the Civil War should not have been fought, the South should have been allowed to secede, and slavery was a lesser evil than military conscription. Charles Koch was so enthralled with the Freedom School that he got his three brothers and many friends to attend. He had hoped to expand it into an accredited university, but instead it ran aground financially. It was, however, the first step in the Kochs’ lifelong crusade to use their vast fortune to reshape American academia and politics along the lines of their own ideology.