Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Deep State is America's 607 Billionaires and their Minions

strategic-culture |  In America, the Deep State ‘justifies’ itself in the ‘news’-media that it owns, and does so by falsely ‘defining’ what the “Deep State” is (which is actually the nation’s 607 billionaires, whose hired agents number in the millions). They mis-‘define’ it, as being, instead, the taxpayer-salaried career Government employees, known professionally as “the Civil Service.” (Although some Civil Servants — especially at the upper levels — are agents for America’s billionaires and retire to cushy board seats, most of them actually are not and do not. And the “revolving door” between “the public sector” and “the private sector” is where the Deep State operations become concentrated. That’s the core of the networking, by which the billionaires get served. And, of course, those former spooks at the National Press Club said nothing about it. Are they authentically so stupid that they don’t know about it, or is that just pretense from them?)

In other words: the Deep State, in America, are not perpetrators of corrupt government (such as in “countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders”), but are instead courageous enemies of corrupt government; and they are instituted by the aristocracy here (today’s American billionaires), in order to reduce, if not eliminate, corruption in government (which, the Times now alleges, originates amongst, or serves, the lower classes).

Uselessly Eating Old Kneegrow Preachers Played Themselves and Got Smacked Down

facebook |  The people of Kansas City deserve better from so-called Black leadership. I’m proud to be a part of emboldening the next generation of Black leaders who will represent their communities far better, and with far more earnest motives, then these weary soldiers who have apparently lost their way. Myself and others of goodwill shall continue fighting to ensure we solve the issues that negatively impact the lives of those we love the most so that future generations don’t have to inherit the insecurity, the violence, and paucity of opportunities we did. 

Before this year is done we may make it to 200 murders in Kansas City. A number that should pierce the hearts of every Kansas Citian. Many of the victims are children who haven’t had the opportunity to grow, to learn, to understand a better way, and that there really does exist a better life for them on the other side of their present suffering. When will our current leadership work together to solve this issue that so many say is unsolvable? When will our best minds come together to end this epidemic of hopelessness and nihilism? 

If Dr. King were alive today it is my unwavering belief that he would be far less concerned with personal accolades and streets named in his honor, but would, as a much older and seasoned General, still be fighting for the least of these. King would still be championing the gospel of Jesus Christ that says in Matthew chapter 18: 

“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”

Monday, November 11, 2019

The “Deep State” has been redefined as career bureaucrats doing their patriotic duty...,

off-guardian  |  It was two years ago, early in the Trump administration, when The New Yorker and Salon, among many others, were asserting in no uncertain terms that there was no deep state in the United States, and so Trump had nothing to fear from that quarter since it was a figment of his paranoia.

Kit Knightly, writing in the Off-Guardian, brilliantly demolished this spurious propaganda at the time in a must read reminder of how tricksters play their games.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a “deep state” that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing.

This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations.

Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another

nakedcapitalism |  Matt Taibbi’s Hate Inc. is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential  election cycle.

While Frank’s topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi’s is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi’s book. And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi’s favorite book and vade-mecum, Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi’s chapter 7, “How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling,” visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting — more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc. to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. “It blew my mind,” Taibbi writes. “[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I’d ever been taught about modern American life…. Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw” (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

Manufacturing Consent,” Taibbi writes, “explains that the debate you’re watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it” (p. 11). And there’s an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a “narrative-ruining” buzz-kill. “The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina — ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries — is pre-excluded from the history of the period” (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let’s consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller’s Boxed In: The Culture of TV. To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Drone Technology Has Disintermediated the Imperial Sovereign Murder Monopoly

technologyreview |  Sophisticated weapons systems have one drawback: the enemy must expose himself within the effective killing range in order for the weapon to work as intended. The smart combatant, of course, rarely exposes himself. So when we do home in on enemy fighters, we use a $30 million aircraft to drop a JDAM (joint direct attack munition) and kill a dozen guys living in tents on the side of a mountain. What has that $30 million technological advantage bought us? The highly (and expensively) trained aviator piloting a beautifully complex flying and killing machine just extinguished some men living under canvas and sticks, men with a few thousand rounds of small arms ammo at their disposal. The pilot will return to his expensive air base or carrier. He will have a hot shower, eat hot chow, Skype his wife and children, maybe play some Xbox, and hit the gym before he hits the rack. He will not, nor will he be asked to, concern himself with the men he killed a few hours ago. And in a draw or valley a few klicks away from where the pilot’s munitions impacted, there is another group of men living under extremely basic circumstances, eating boiled rice and maybe a little roasted meat. They will ambush an American convoy or attack a government-friendly village in the morning. Native grit debases our technologically superior forces and materiel. Native grit wins a war.

asiatimes |   Houthi striking capability – from drone swarms to ballistic missile attacks – has been improving remarkably for the past year or so. It’s not by accident that the UAE saw which way the geopolitical and geoeconomic winds were blowing: Abu Dhabi withdrew from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s vicious war against Yemen and now is engaged in what it describes as a  “peace-first” strategy.

Even before Abqaiq, the Houthis had already engineered quite a few attacks against Saudi oil installations as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports. In early July, Yemen’s Operations Command Center staged an exhibition in full regalia in Sana’a featuring their whole range of ballistic and winged missiles and drones.

 The situation has now reached a point where there’s plenty of chatter across the Persian Gulf about a spectacular scenario: the Houthis investing in a mad dash across the Arabian desert to capture Mecca and Medina in conjunction with a mass Shiite uprising in the Eastern oil belt. That’s not far-fetched anymore. Stranger things have happened in the Middle East. After all, the Saudis can’t even win a bar brawl – that’s why they rely on mercenaries.

Orientalism strikes again

The US intel refrain that the Houthis are incapable of such a sophisticated attack betrays the worst strands of orientalism and white man’s burden/superiority complex.

The only missile parts shown by the Saudis so far come from a Yemeni Quds 1 cruise missile. According to Brigadier General Yahya Saree, spokesman for the Sana’a-based Yemeni Armed Forces, “the Quds system proved its great ability to hit its targets and to bypass enemy interceptor systems.”

Omniviolence: Asymmetrical Warfare Managerialist Style...,

nautil.us |  Technology is, in other words, enabling criminals to target anyone anywhere and, due to democratization, increasingly at scale. Emerging bio-, nano-, and cyber-technologies are becoming more and more accessible. The political scientist Daniel Deudney has a word for what can result: “omniviolence.” The ratio of killers to killed, or “K/K ratio,” is falling. For example, computer scientist Stuart Russell has vividly described how a small group of malicious agents might engage in omniviolence: “A very, very small quadcopter, one inch in diameter can carry a one-or two-gram shaped charge,” he says. “You can order them from a drone manufacturer in China. You can program the code to say: ‘Here are thousands of photographs of the kinds of things I want to target.’ A one-gram shaped charge can punch a hole in nine millimeters of steel, so presumably you can also punch a hole in someone’s head. You can fit about three million of those in a semi-tractor-trailer. You can drive up I-95 with three trucks and have 10 million weapons attacking New York City. They don’t have to be very effective, only 5 or 10% of them have to find the target.” Manufacturers will be producing millions of these drones, available for purchase just as with guns now, Russell points out, “except millions of guns don’t matter unless you have a million soldiers. You need only three guys to write the program and launch.” In this scenario, the K/K ratio could be perhaps 3/1,000,000, assuming a 10-percent accuracy and only a single one-gram shaped charge per drone. 
Will emerging technologies make the state system obsolete? It’s hard to see why not.
That’s completely—and horrifyingly—unprecedented. The terrorist or psychopath of the future, however, will have not just the Internet or drones—called “slaughterbots” in this video from the Future of Life Institute—but also synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and advanced AI systems at their disposal. These tools make wreaking havoc across international borders trivial, which raises the question: Will emerging technologies make the state system obsolete? It’s hard to see why not. What justifies the existence of the state, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued, is a “social contract.” People give up certain freedoms in exchange for state-provided security, whereby the state acts as a neutral “referee” that can intervene when people get into disputes, punish people who steal and murder, and enforce contracts signed by parties with competing interests. 

The trouble is that if anyone anywhere can attack anyone anywhere else, then states will become—and are becoming—unable to satisfy their primary duty as referee. It’s a trend toward anarchy, “the war of all against all,” as Hobbes put it—in other words a condition of everyone living in constant fear of being harmed by their neighbors. Indeed, in a recent paper, “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis,” published in Global Policy, the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that the only way to defend against a global catastrophe is to employ a universal and invasive surveillance system, what he calls a “High-tech Panopticon.” Sound dystopian? It sure does to me. “Creating and operating the High-tech Panopticon would require substantial investment,” Bostrom writes, “but thanks to the falling price of cameras, data transmission, storage, and computing, and the rapid advances in AI-enabled content analysis, it may soon become both technologically feasible and affordable.” Bostrom is well-aware of the downsides—corrupt actors in a state could exploit this surveillance for totalitarian ends, or hackers could blackmail unsuspecting victims. Yet the fact is that it may still be a better option than suffering one global catastrophe after another. 

How can societies counterattack omniviolence? One strategy could be a superintelligent machine—essentially, an extremely powerful algorithm—that’s specifically designed to govern fairly. We could then put the algorithm in political charge and, insofar as it governs as something like a “Philosopher King,” not worry constantly about the data collected being misused or abused. Of course, this is a fantastical proposal. Even the real-world use of AI in the justice system is fraught with problems. But at this point, do we have a better idea for preventing the collapse of the state system under the weight of widespread technological empowerment?

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Managerialism Hijacked, Parasitized, and Controls the American Medical Narrative

hcrenewal  |  A news article that featured an interview with Dr Victor Montori, the senior author of the article, noted in fact that the most recent (2018) list included quite a few CEOs of large for-profit health care corporations.
Among those topping the latest installment of the influential Modern Healthcare power index are the corporate heads of Amazon, Apple, Aetna, Humana, CVS and Minnetonka, Minn.-based United Health/Optum.
The authors concluded that
perceived influence over US health care of chief executives of health systems is increasing. To the extent that the ranking validly reflects influence, the sharp rise in the influence of chief executive officers at the expense of representatives of patients or health professionals may underscore the increasing industrialization of health care. It is not possible to find patients, patient advocates, clinicians, or clinician advocates at the top of this list. This trend placing health care influencers within C-suites, accountable to boards mostly comprising other corporate leaders, may explain the rise of business language and thinking
They suggested that it is possible that there is a
causal association between the concentration of executive influence and problems of patient care derived from efforts to optimize operational efficiency and financial performance, for example, clinician burnout, the heavy burden of treatment afflicting patients with chronic conditions, and the erection of barriers to care to optimize 'payer mix.'
Dr Montori also said in the interview
Americans increasingly find themselves in a corporate-centric healthcare echo-chamber, one in which the public will increasingly approach tough policy decisions having heard only the viewpoint from the top.

'The primary goals of CEOs are to advance the mission of their organization,' Montori says. 'If all that influences healthcare are the ideas of people who advocate for the success of their organizations, people who are not served by them will not have their voices heard.'
Furthermore, he suggested that the public may be befuddled by the current health policy debates, including those about universal health care and the possibility of reducing the power of commercial health insurance companies because
in the rest of the narrative all that they hear is about are the successes of biotech, the successes of tech companies, and the successes of healthcare corporations who achieve high levels of innovation thanks to the bold leadership of their executives. It's why we have been calling for greater awareness of the industrialization of healthcare for some time now

Thieving Parasites CEO's Kicking Rocks at Levels Not Seen Since 2008

commondreams |  A record number of CEOs left their positions in October, a corporate outplacement firm reported Wednesday, the most in one month since the 2008 recession.

The news from Challenger, Gray & Christmas raised eyebrows—and concerns over a possible incoming recession—Wednesday evening at progressive news co-op The District Sentinel's radio show. 

"Maybe this means nothing, maybe this is a coincidence," said show co-host Sam Sacks. "Or maybe rich people can see the writing on the wall and are cashing out right now."

Sacks and co-host Sam Knight weren't the only ones who saw the news as possibly indicative of economic upheaval on the horizon.

"Sign of a recession?" wondered Globe and Mail reporter Paul Waldie.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas' report, 1,332 CEOs have already left their companies, far outstripping the total 1,257 departures by this time in 2008. A total 1,484 CEOs left their positions by the end of 2008.

Not Just Financial Vultures and Vampires Sucking the Life Out of the Commons...,

counterpunch |  Fires are raging everywhere in California these days, and firefighters are having enormous trouble keeping up. Chronically understaffed local fire departments simply don’t have the resources to handle act one of what climate change has in store for us.

California’s wealthy aren’t particularly worrying about that lack of resources — because they have more than enough of their own. They can afford to shell out up to $25,000 per day for one of the private firefighting services that are popping up in California wherever the rich call home.

In a deeply unequal America, none of this should surprise us. Public services almost always take it on the chin in societies where wealth starts furiously concentrating. Why should inequality have this impact? A little incendiary parable — on tennis — might help us understand.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Now Augusto Nunes Need'ta Schmack Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Chris Hayes, and Lil'Pookie Capehart

commondreams |  Augusto Nunes, a defender of Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, struck Greenwald in the face after the Intercept journalist repeatedly called him a "coward."

DJTJr Out'Chere Tweeting Like A Boss-ito....,

"#coup has started" - Really N***a?


Thursday, November 07, 2019

Greatest Wealth Transfer in 100 Years...., to Failed Managers!

epsilontheory |  There’s no way that the Justice Dept. will ever bring a criminal case against Boeing, not one that hits top management or really shackles the company.

And I know that Boeing said today that Muilenburg won’t get a bonus or (more) stock grants until the 737 MAX is flying again, but this article got Radical Me thinking …

I wonder how much money Muilenburg and his management team and his board of directors have pocketed since he took over as CEO in 2015 and Chairman in 2016?

I wonder if executive compensation practices have changed over that span since … you know … Boeing started buying back nine billion dollars of stock every year?

Tell you what, I’ll make it easy and I won’t even count the cash compensation of Boeing management since 2016. I’ll just stick to the direct value of the sterilized stock options they exercised and the restricted stock units they were vested. And I won’t count any compensation of any sort here in 2019.

Private Equity Vampires Are Killing Everything

thenation |  There are many, many different versions of the vampire’s tale, but in its most timeworn Eurocentric telling, vampires are evil’s upper crust: beautiful, blue-blooded aristocrats draped in velvet, exuding idle menace. Dracula and his cursed kin are the undead 1 percent and act accordingly: terrorizing villages, murdering peasants, siphoning off others’ lifeblood, and turning up their aquiline noses at the slightest hint of dissent.

An entire cottage industry operates around their stories, and vampire lore does not always confine itself to the page. In the 17th century, the very real and very sadistic Countess Bathory—she of Hungarian legend and historical infamy—is said to have broken the bodies of more than 650 village girls and bathed in serf blood to retain her youth. For that, history remembers her with a strange sort of fondness: as an unfathomably wealthy, castle-dwelling noblewoman always depicted as lavishly dressed and dripping in jewels. She was monstrous in an elegant sort of way, the kind that inspires gothic novels and Swedish black metal records. Vituperative inhumanity, but made fashionable. 

Vampires’ modern-day counterparts, on the other hand, leave much to be desired from an aesthetic standpoint. Unlike the ancient Romanian moroi, Irish dearg-due, or Ghanaian sasabonsam, today’s vampires are parasitic new money. Vulgar, ugly, and smug, their wrists are cluttered with hideous statement watches, their torsos clad in power suits or, worse, upmarket hipster threads. Some call them vulture capitalists, after the great birds who feast on carrion. While catchy, this term doesn’t quite fit; these monsters do not focus on the dead—they go after the living. They run hedge funds, trade stocks, and manage private equity firms, flush with generational wealth but always hungry for more. Instead of hot blood, these fancy fiends hunt for cold cash—and much like their spiritual predecessors, care little for how others must suffer in their pursuit thereof.

The Myth of Shareholder Primacy

perc.org.uk |  In the late 1960s, a young banker named Joel Stern was working on a project to transform corporate management. Stern’s hunch was that the stock market could help managers work out how their strategies were performing. Simply, if management was effective, demand for the firm’s stock would be high. A low price would imply bad management.

What sounds obvious now was revolutionary at the time. Until then profits were the key barometer of success. But profits were a crude measure and easy to manipulate. Financial markets, Stern felt, could provide a more precise measure of the value of management because they were based on more ‘objective’ processes, beyond the firm’s direct control. The value of shares, he believed, represented the market’s exact validation of management. Because of this, financial markets could help managers determine what was working and what was not.

In doing this, Stern laid the foundation for a ‘shareholder value’ management that put financial markets at the core of managerial strategy.

Stern would probably never have imagined that these ideas would 50 years later be castigated as a fundamental threat to the future of liberal capitalism. In recent times everyone from the Business Roundtable group of global corporations, to the Financial Times, to the British Labour Party has lined up to condemn the shareholder ideology.

“Fifty years of shareholder primacy,” wrote the Financial Times, “has fostered short-termism and created an environment of popular distrust of big business.”

It is not the first time Stern’s creation has come under fire. A decade ago Jack Welsh, former CEO of General Electric declared shareholder value “probably the dumbest idea in the world”. And 15 years before then, British political commentator Will Hutton, among others, found paperback fame with his book The State We’re In preaching much the same message.

To critics, the rise of shareholder value is a straightforward story, that has been told over and over again. Following a general crisis of postwar profitability in the late 1970s, corporate managers came under fire from disappointed shareholders complaining about declining returns. Shareholder revolts forced managers to put market capitalisation first. The rise of stock options to compensate corporate managers entrenched shareholder value by aligning the interests of managers and shareholders. 
Companies began sacrificing productive investments, environmental protections, and worker security to ensure shareholder returns were maximised. The fear of stock market verdicts on quarterly reports left them no choice.

This account fits a widespread belief that financiers and rentiers mangled the postwar golden era of capitalism. More importantly, it suggests a simple solution: liberate companies from the demands of shareholders. Freed from the short-term pursuit of delivering shareholder returns, companies could then return to long-term plans, productive investments, and higher wages.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Speaking of Preverts Epstein and Cover-Ups that Make No Sense...,

NationalReview |  James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, a group that has often infiltrated news organizations to uncover liberal bias, has released an explosive “hot mic” video of Good Morning America co-host Amy Robach venting about ABC’s decision to spike a story about Jeffrey Epstein’s nefarious activities three years ago.

“I had this interview with [Epstein victim] Virginia Roberts,” Robach is seen saying in the video, “we would not put it on the air. The [British royal] Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will that we, that also quashed the story.”

Robach now claims, through a network statement, that she was caught “in a private moment” of frustration over the lack of progress on a story. “I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because I could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations.”

Sorry, but Robach’s response to the firestorm doesn’t square with her initial comments, in which she states that “Roberts had pictures, she had everything . . . it was unbelievable what we had. [Bill] Clinton, we had everything.”

“Everything” sure sounds like sufficient corroborating evidence. Even if employing the most scrupulous journalistic standards, a giant news organization wouldn’t need three years to substantiate — or dismiss — a story with pictures, dates, and a credible witness.

We certainly know that ABC didn’t need “everything” — or much of anything, for that matter – when it was running scores of pieces online and on television, highlighting every risible accusation against then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Burisma was a Huge Issue for V.P. Joe Biden

johnsolomon |  In recent interviews, Joe Biden has distanced himself from his son’s work at a Ukrainian gas company that was under investigation during the Obama years, with the former vice president  suggesting he didn’t even know Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings.
There is plenty of evidence that conflicts with the former vice president’s account, including Hunter Biden’s own story that he discussed the company once with his famous father. 

There also was a December 2015 New York Times story that raised the question of whether Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma posed a conflict of interest for the vice president, especially when Joe Biden was leading the fight against Ukrainian corruption while Hunter Biden’s firm was under investigation by Ukrainian prosecutors.

But whatever the Biden family recollections, the Obama State Department clearly saw the Burisma Holdings investigation in the midst of the 2016 presidential election as a Joe Biden issue.

Memos newly released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation on my behalf detail how State officials in June 2016 worked to prepare the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, to handle a question about “Burisma and Hunter Biden.”

In multiple drafts of a question-and-answer memo prepared for Yovanovitch’s Senate confirmation hearing, the department’s Ukraine experts urged the incoming ambassador to stick to a simple answer.
“Do you have any comment on Hunter Biden, the Vice President’s son, serving on the board of Burisma, a major Ukrainian Gas Company?,” the draft Q&A asked.

The recommended answer for Yovanovitch: “For questions on Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma, I would refer you to Vice President Biden’s office.”

Former Russian Tapeworm Bill Browder Involved With Snuffing Assange Too?

consortiumnews |  “They put him into a straight-jacket, put him into an isolation room and waited outside the door for 1hr18 minutes until he died.”
He invented the beating death in 2011 when he decided to create and lobby for the Magnitsky Act in the U.S. Congress to stop Russian authorities from pursuing him for $100 million in evaded taxes and illicit stock buys.

Ironically, though he uses the U.S. to build a wall against Russian tax collectors, he gave up his American citizenship in 1998 to avoid paying taxes. He is listed by CBS News as a tax expatriate.”

If you are serious lawyers and investigators, you will examine the evidence and respond. (And change your story.)

The rest of the op ed is to support unspecified steps to hold to account those who benefit from human rights abuses and corruption. No mention of the persecutors of Julian Assange or the beneficiaries of the U.K.’s worldwide system of tax havens. The real purpose appears to be to repeat the Browder hoax in the lead.

I sent copies of the article to Brandon and Bailin. No response.

I also sent a complaint to IPSO the British Independent Press Standards Organization.

It calls itself ” the independent regulator of most of the UK’s newspapers and magazines.” It says: We hold newspapers and magazines to account for their actions, protect individual rights, uphold high standards of journalism and help to maintain freedom of expression for the press.
Clauses breached
1 Accuracy
This op ed article is based on egregiously fake facts. See this story and the links for the evidence. I have sent it to the authors. They should retract the story. https://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2019/10/london-times-runs-fake-browder-story-by-acolytes-ben-brandon-alex-bailin/

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Why Pumpkinhead-Pencilneck Schiff So Smug?

spectator |  However many Ukraine whistleblowers there may or may not be, Cockburn’s source says that at least one of the (purported) seven has nothing to do with Ukraine at all. Instead, it’s claimed that this whistleblower reported a call between Trump and the Saudi ruler, Mohammed bin Salman. He or she is said to have had ‘concerns’ about what was said on the call about the president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner. Kushner himself is known to have a very close relationship with MBS. Cockburn has previously written that Kushner may have been what Cosmo would call an ‘oversharer’ when it came to MBS. Unfortunately, it’s claimed that what he was sharing was American secrets: information Kushner had requested from the CIA would (allegedly) be echoed back in US intercepts of calls between members of the Saudi royal family. One source said this was why Kushner lost his intelligence clearances for a while.

According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A second source tells Cockburn that this is true and adds a crucial twist to the story. This source claims that Turkish intelligence obtained an intercept of the call between Kushner and MBS. And President Erdogan used it to get Trump to roll over and pull American troops out of northern Syria before the Turks invaded. A White House official has told the Daily Mail that this story is ‘false nonsense’. However, Cockburn hears that investigators for the House Intelligence Committee are looking into it. Who knows whether any of this is true…but Adam Schiff certainly seems to be smiling a lot these days.

Why the Deep State Must Kill Julian Assange

theconservativetreehouse |  According to recent reports U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr are spending time on a narrowed focus looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election.  One recent quote from a media-voice increasingly sympathetic to a political deep-state notes:
“One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services””. (Link)
It is interesting that quote comes from a British intelligence official, as there appears to be mounting evidence of an extensive CIA operation that likely involved U.K. intelligence services.  In addition, and as a direct outcome, there is an aspect to the CIA operation that overlaps with both a U.S. and U.K. need to keep Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under tight control.  In this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge.

To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to CIA interests, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016.  It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations.

By now people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor now generally admitted/identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked by the CIA (John Brennan) to run an operation against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. {Go Deep}

In a similar fashion the CIA tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page.  Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn.  Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos.

The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas.  This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets much easier.

Does Eric Ciaramella Have a Husband? Is the Husband Mad?

redstate |  Eric Ciaramella, the alleged whistleblower, was a young man on a mission. This Ivy-league graduate, said to be fluent in Russian, Ukrainian and Arabic, a favorite among Obama Administration officials, was introduced to us by investigative reporter Paul Sperry on Thursday. Washington insiders, including the mainstream media, have known his identity for quite some time, and for obvious reasons, have remained silent. Even after Sperry outed him this week, we’re hearing crickets from those on the left. The conservative media, however, which understands that history is repeating itself, has gone into overdrive to expose the truth.

Here’s what we know about Eric Ciaramella (EC):

He submitted a whistleblower complaint on August 12th.

He is a registered Democrat.

He is a CIA analyst who specializes in Russia and Ukraine. He ran the Ukraine desk at the National Security Council (NSC) in 2016.

He was detailed over to the NSC in the summer of 2015 and worked for then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

He worked for former Vice President Joe Biden when he served as the Obama administration’s “point man” for Ukraine. He may have flown over to Ukraine with Biden on Air Force Two.

He worked for former CIA Director John Brennan and appeared to have been a highly valued employee.

In June 2017, then-National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster appointed EC to be his personal aide.
EC did not have direct knowledge of the July 25th conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is very possible he learned about the call from NSC Director for European Affairs Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified last week before Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee.

EC contacted at least one of Schiff’s staff members prior to filing his complaint. Two of EC’s colleagues from the NSC were hired by Adam Schiff this year, one of whom, Sean Misko, was hired in August.

He was posted to the NSC in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 and “left amid concerns about negative leaks to the media. He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”

Monday, November 04, 2019

Work on your Own and with Your Friend Who is a Girl Before You Go to the Baile...,

Well, this episode has long been in the making. One of the hardest things I ever went through, and most dancers will go through in my salsa, is finding the beat in the music.

We all go through this problem, and with this part 1 of a multiple part series, I will try to do my best to help you practice on how to find the beat in salsa music. I will play some songs, do some counting and hopefully give you some tips on how to train your ear to listen and feel the clave of the salsa music.


wikipedia |  Salsa is a popular form of social dance originating in Eastern Cuba[citation needed]. The Salsa we hear now is said to be born in New York to a mixture of Afro Cuban folk dances with Jazz. Evidence shows that the “Salsa” sound was already developed in Cuba before being brought up to New York[citation needed]. The movements of Salsa are a combination of the Afro-Cuban dances Son, cha-cha-cha, Mambo, Rumba, and the DanzĂłn. The dance, along with salsa music,[1][2][3] saw major development in the mid-1970s in New York.[4] Different regions of Latin America and the United States have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Cali Colombia, L.A. and New York styles. Salsa dance socials are commonly held in night clubs, bars, ballrooms, restaurants, and outside, especially when part of an outdoor festival. 

In many styles of salsa dancing, as a dancer shifts their weight by stepping, the upper body remains level and nearly unaffected by the weight changes. Weight shifts cause the hips to move. Arm and shoulder movements are also incorporated. Salsa generally uses music ranging from about 150 bpm (beats per minute) to around 250 bpm, although most dancing is done to music somewhere between 160–220 bpm. The basic Salsa dance rhythm consists of taking three steps for every four beats of music. The odd number of steps creates the syncopation inherent to Salsa dancing and ensures that it takes 8 beats of music to loop back to a new sequence of steps. 

Fania record label in the 60s, was the one that gave the name "Salsa" to this new blend of different influences, rhythms and styles of Latin music in New York City, especially in el Barrio, Spanish Harlem, and the Bronx. Salsa means sauce which represented son, guaguanco, son montuno, Jazz elements, Latin Jazz, Cuban influences. Prior to that time, each style was recognized in its pure original form and name. It evolved from forms such as Son, Son Montuno, cha cha cha, and Mambo which were popular in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Latino communities in New York since the 1940s. Salsa, like most music genres and dance styles, has gone through a lot of variation through the years and incorporated elements of other Afro-Caribbean dances such as Pachanga. Different regions of Latin America and the United States have distinct salsa styles of their own, such as Cuban, Puerto Rican, Cali Colombia.  

La Pachanga

wikipedia |  Pachanga is a genre of music which is described as a mixture of son montuno and merengue and has an accompanying signature style of dance. This type of music has a festive, lively style and is marked by jocular, mischievous lyrics. Pachanga originated in Cuba in the 1950s and played an important role in the evolution of Caribbean style music as we know it today. Considered a prominent contributor to the eventual rise of Salsa, Pachanga itself is an offshoot of Charanga style music.[1] Very similar in sound to Cha-Cha but with a notably stronger down-beat, Pachanga once experienced massive popularity all across the Caribbean and was brought to the United States by Cuban immigrants post World War II. This led to an explosion of Pachanga music in Cuban music clubs that influenced Latin culture in the United States for decades to come.

Charanga is a type of traditional ensemble that plays Cuban dance music (mostly Danzón, Danzonete, and Cha cha chá) using violin, flute, horns, drums. In Cuba in 1955, Los Papines fused the violin-based music of charanga with the trumpet-based music of conjuntos. Eduardo Davidson's La Pachanga was recorded in 1959 by Orquesta Sublime (which was in the USA). After Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba in 1959, the epicenter of Cuban music moved to other islands and USA. José Fajardo brought the song La Pachanga to New York in the Cuban charanga style. The orquesta, or band, was referred to as charanga, while the accompanying dance was named the pachanga.[3] The similar sound of the words charanga and pachanga has led to the fact that these two notions are often confused. In fact, charanga is a type of orchestration, while pachanga is a musical and dance genre.


Sunday, November 03, 2019

We'll Soon Learn Eric Ciaramella Was Assigned to the Trump Task Force

sicsempertyrannis |  The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A "Task Force" is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bring case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project.  But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here's a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958.  The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit "in the field", i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA "Mission Centers" (that's the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by an knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

Chomsky: Impeachment Will Not Hurt Trump

theintercept |  MH: Let’s talk impeachment. The Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump specifically around this suggestion that he was pressuring a foreign country Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponent and even withholding military aid until they agreed to do so. Do you support the House Democrats’ decision to finally start an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump?

NC: First notice something, they’re going after Trump not on his major crimes but because he went after a leading Democrat. Does that remind you of anything? Yes. Watergate. They didn’t go after Nixon on his major crimes. They were off the record. It was because he had attacked the Democratic party. 

MH: Good point. 

NC: So yes, they’ll protect themselves. Is it the right thing to do? I mean, Trump is impeachable 100 times over. You know, he’s a major crook. There’s no doubt about it. Is it politically wise? I frankly doubt it. I think it’ll turn out pretty much like the Mueller report, which, that I thought was also a political mistake. What’ll happen is probably the House will impeach, goes to the Senate. The Republican senators are utterly craven. They’re terrified of Trump’s voting base. So they’ll vote to turn down the impeachment request. Trump will come along, say I’m vindicated. Say it was the Deep State and the treacherous Dems trying to overturn the election. Oh, vote for me. 

MH: I had the filmmaker Michael Moore on the show last week, and he thinks that eventually this evidence is going to pile up against Trump that’s so damning — and we’ve already seen some of the testimony from the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and others — that actually he thinks Republican senators, some of them who you know, who need to save their skins will join Senate Democrats to vote to remove Trump from office. You don’t seem to buy that?

NC: I think you may find a handful who will find a way to evade taking a position But if you just look at the record of the party — I gave you a couple of examples, but we could go on — it’s very hard to imagine any bit of principle emerging. It’s true that if some of them thought they were really going to suffer for it politically or in other ways, maybe they’d change, but that doesn’t seem too likely. I mean, just take a look at Trump’s voting base, you know, there are pretty regular polls and studies. They haven’t changed. They buy his line. Here’s our hero. The one man in the world who’s willing to stand up for us.

MH: Although whether it works or not in the Senate, it doesn’t mean the House Democrats shouldn’t take a stand regardless of whether Republican Senators convict. Can Trump be beaten at the ballot box next November? Is there a Democratic candidate who you think can beat him or more than one candidate?

NC: Well, here it’s very interesting to see what’s being done. You may have seen a day or two ago in the New York Times was a big article about a meeting of the Democratic centrists, the establishment, the billionaires, the donors, you know, the mainstream political figures. And it was about, their concern about just what you asked, is there a Democrat who can defeat Trump? And they went through the possible Democratic candidates and discussed their flaws, and then asked, can we bring in someone else like Bloomberg or Michelle Obama? Take a look at the leading candidates they listed: Warren, Biden and Mayor Pete. Do you notice somebody missing? 

MH: Senator Sanders doesn’t make the cut of these lists.

NC: There’s a very good reason for it. He has absolutely infuriated the liberal establishment by committing a major crime. It’s not his policies. His crime was to organize an ongoing political movement that doesn’t just show up at the polls every four years and push a button, but keeps working. That’s no good. The rabble is supposed to stay home. Their job is to watch not to participate.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

"Arab Spring" in NYC? (Hollywood for Ugly People REALLY Pulling Out All the Stops Now)

dailymail |  Nearly a thousand protesters took to the streets of Brooklyn to demonstrate against the NYPD after a spate of violent arrests on the subway and over its plans to put more officers on the beat to catch anyone who skips paying the fare.  

The protesters started gathering in Downtown Brooklyn near Barclays Center at about 7pm Friday, with their signs reflecting the dual nature of the march. 

While flashier banners bore slogans such as 'Don't let these pigs touch us,' 'F**k the police,' 'Punch that cop' and 'NYPD out of MTA,' other signs read 'Free transit,' 'Poverty is not a crime' and 'Our subways need more $ for elevators, not for cops.' 

Their grievances stem from two issues. One, alleged police brutality against New Yorkers including a group of teenagers who officers were seen fighting with in a recent viral video. 

The other issue is that police have vowed to create 500 additional jobs specifically for officers to monitor the subway network and arrest anyone who jumps the barriers rather than pay the $2.75 fee. 
Over the last month. several videos have emerged of NYPD cops violently arresting seemingly nonviolent subway riders. 

One, which circulated last week, showed them pounding on the windows of a subway car, waiting for the doors to open, before rushing on board, tackling the man to the ground. It is unclear why he is wanted. He had his hands in the air for several minutes before they arrested him and bystanders say the officers drew their guns.  

Why I ain't see this covered in the Kansas City Star or more realistically, as an item in Go-ogle News?

Seriously..., How Can You Even Stand to Look at This Little Bug-Eyed Gimp?!?!?!

truthdig |  A huge national spotlight is now on Adam Schiff, the member of Congress leading the impeachment inquiry. In his tenth term, Schiff is really going places. But where is he coming from?

This year, as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, he has relentlessly built a case against a horrendous president. For progressives eager to see Donald Trump impeached, Schiff is an enemy of their enemy. But whether he’s a friend is another matter.

“Schiff’s record on foreign policy, civil liberties, human rights and other key issues has often put him more in line with Republicans than with liberal Democrats,” international affairs scholar Stephen Zunes told me. “It is ironic, therefore, that Trump and the Republicans are portraying him as some kind of left-winger.”

For a backstory perspective on Schiff, I contacted a progressive activist who has been closely tracking his political career for two decades. Howie Klein, the publisher and editor of DownWithTyranny.com, lives in Schiff’s congressional district in the Los Angeles area. They met when Schiff was a state senator running for Congress in 1990 against a Republican incumbent.

“I was all gung-ho and raised a lot of money for him from my music industry colleagues,” Klein told me. “I didn’t understand at the time that although he was a Democrat, he was a conservative Democrat. There were a couple of hints during the campaign, but it wasn’t until he was elected and joined the Blue Dogs and started voting that I realized that we had traded a right-wing Republican for a GOP-light Democrat.”

Please Stay Woke to What the "Impeachment Inquiry" is Really All About

unz |  Cohen observes in his latest conversation with John Batchelor that the so-called Impeachment inquiry, whether formal or informal, will make the new Cold War even worse and more dangerous than it already is, noting that an inflection point has been reached, because at the core of these allegations—most of which are undocumented and a substantial number of which are untrue— revolving around Russiagate and now Ukrainegate is an underlying demonization of Russia. Relations between America and Russia will continue to deteriorate either due to the fact that the entire political spectrum is engaging in a frenzy of Russophobia or that President Trump, who ran and won on a platform of improving relations with Russia, is now completely shackled, thus it is inevitable that the new Cold War will continue to become more dangerous.

Friday, November 01, 2019

How Memes got Weaponized: (Why You Can't Have Anything Nice Anymore)

technologyreview | Memes come off as a joke, but some people are starting to see them as the serious threat they are. In October 2016, a friend of mine learned that one of his wedding photos had made its way into a post on a right-wing message board. The picture had been doctored to look like an ad for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and appeared to endorse the idea of drafting women into the military. A mutual friend of ours found the image first and sent him a message: “Ummm, I saw this on Reddit, did you make this?”

This was the first my friend had heard of it. He hadn’t agreed to the use of his image, which was apparently taken from his online wedding album. But he also felt there was nothing he could do to stop it.

So rather than poke the trolls by complaining, he ignored it and went on with his life. Most of his friends had a laugh at the fake ad, but I saw a huge problem. As a researcher of media manipulation and disinformation, I understood right away that my friend had become cannon fodder in a “meme war”—the use of slogans, images, and video on social media for political purposes, often employing disinformation and half-truths.

While today we tend to think of memes as funny images online, Richard Dawkins coined the term back in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene, where he described how culture is transmitted through generations. In his definition, memes are “units of culture” spread through the diffusion of ideas. Memes are particularly salient online because the internet crystallizes them as artifacts of communication and accelerates their distribution through subcultures.

Importantly, as memes are shared they shed the context of their creation, along with their authorship. Unmoored from the trappings of an author’s reputation or intention, they become the collective property of the culture. As such, memes take on a life of their own, and no one has to answer for transgressive or hateful ideas.


To Even Speak of the Ukraine is to Invite Blowback (Weaponization)

cjr |  On May 1, The New York Times carried a story on its front page, “For Biden, a Ukraine Matter That Won’t Go Away,” by Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel. It delved into the effort by supporters of Donald Trump to connect Joe Biden, through his son Hunter, to corruption in Ukraine. Within the Times, the story has been treated as a big win, an early look at the matter that has now led to an impeachment inquiry of Trump. Vogel has popped up on a segment of the Times podcast The Daily, telling host Michael Barbaro his reporting was “prescient.” And he’s been on a recent episode of the Times’s TV show, The Weekly, where he and an image of that front-page headline both feature prominently on-screen.

But outside the paper, the response to the story has been far less enthusiastic: the piece has been labeled “controversial,” accused of getting its facts wrong, and of pushing a “Republican conspiracy theory” into the “mainstream.” Podcast host and former Obama White House staffer Dan Pfeiffer went so far as to accuse Vogel and the Times of having a “Watergate-style scoop about Trump … and fumbled the ball.” To which Vogel responded, “I literally broke the story upon which the impeachment inquiry is based.”

On October 9, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfeld, sent a letter to Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet: “The Times had an outsized hand in the spread of a baseless conspiracy theory advanced by Rudy Giuliani,” she wrote. “What was especially troubling about the Times active participation in this smear campaign is that prior to its reporting on the subject by Ken Vogel, this conspiracy had been relegated to the likes of Breitbart, Russian propaganda, and another conspiracy theorist regular Hannity guest John Solomon.”

(The piece also generated a separate controversy when Mendel, who worked as a freelance reporter in Ukraine for the Times, announced in June that she had been hired as the spokesperson for President Volodymyr Zelensky—who President Trump had pressured in the now infamous July 25 phone call. The Times wasn’t happy to learn of the clear conflict of interest but said that the international desk conducted a review of her work and found it “fair and accurate.”)
What has made this such an alluring media story is that the battle lines are so firmly drawn: Is the piece, as Vogel has described it, a seminal journalistic work that opened the gates to the entire Ukraine saga? Or is it, per its critics, clickbait better suited to Breitbart than the Times?

Did Y'all Know Lawfare a Brookings Jawnt?

theconservativetreehouse |  After the 2018 mid-terms, and in preparation for the “impeachment” strategy, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler hired Lawfare group members to become House committee staff.

Chairman Schiff hired former SDNY U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman (link), and Chairman Nadler hired  Obama Administration lawyer Norm Eisen and criminal defense attorney Barry Berke (link).  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi then hired Douglas Letter as House General Counsel – all are within the Lawfare network.

After Goldman, Eisen, Berke and Letter were hired in late 2018, Pelosi then went about changing the Rules of the House in January ’19.  Few were paying attention until recently.

In the last month many people have surmised that Pelosi and Schiff moved to utilize the Ukraine/NSC impeachment angle *after* the Mueller angle for impeachment ran into trouble. However, CTH research (widely criticized in 2018) doesn’t reflect the Whistle-blower impeachment plan as an ‘add-on’.  Instead, what we see is the use of the HPSCI; and the use of embeds within National Security Council staff; by design.  The Schiff events of today were always part of a prior planned design.