Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 30, 2019

Open Thread 2019-30

News & views ...

Posted by b on May 30, 2019 at 16:50 UTC | Permalink

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Posted the wrong link for the quote @100. This is the link to the quote.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 1 2019 16:09 utc | 101

@karlof1 #76
Regarding ownership of the US national debt: yes, 80%+ is owed to Americans: people, corporations or government.
However, if you read Hudson more carefully, you'll note that the government debt is, in significant part, wealth owned by a few. Do you really think it likely that those few would allow this to occur? Especially when these same few - the 0.1% to upper tiers of 1% - spend so much effort trying to prevent much smaller redistribution?
Secondly, the composition of the debt also matters.
As of January 2018 - $2.85T of the national debt was owed to Social Security via "borrowing" of the SS surplus over the past 2 decades by the federal government, and explains why the more bastard "balanced budget" talking heads moan so constantly about how Social Security needs to be reined in via higher retirement ages and what not. Note that the $2.85T is a bit under 75% of what all of the world's other central banks hold in US Treasuries - i.e. its a lot of money.
However, that $2.85T is just what was borrowed. Social Security itself buys US Treasuries. Between SS, Medicare, Federal government pensions and military pensions - Social Security holds something like $5.9T of the national debt via US Treasury holdings = ~27%
the Federal Reserve is another major holder - I believe around 12%
Foreign central banks = ~18%
Mutual funds = ~9%
State and local governments = ~5%
The rest: private investors and what not: around 29%
So just how much can really be written off? Writing off the SS portion of debt means destroying Social Security along with all of the people who depend on it.
Central bank writeoff? Not going to end well.
Mutual funds? State and local governments? The "private" holders of which the vast majority are the uber-wealthy?
I'll believe it when I see it.
My own view is that the only path forward is inflation: either an outright issuance of money (helicopter Ben style) - only to actual people vs. corporations and banks, or a devaluation which at least helps the poorer part of the population.
Unfortunately, Western societies - as Dr. Hudson notes - have a really poor record of proactive monetary actions, much less a jubilee. FDR did the gold confiscation and repricing; the UK went off, then on the gold standard, but by and large Western societies believe in banksters' rights.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 1 2019 16:39 utc | 102

@peter.. australia and all the other poodles are being the obedient poodles they are.. it is really quite sickening and another example of group think where the powers that be are not in the slightest way interested in anything resembling fairness, or the concept of rule of law, let alone compassion and other finer human characteristics.. they are incapable of any of this here, or only in so far as it serves their narrow interests... how did we get to this place?

@c1ue... thanks for your posts on us debt and finance..

Posted by: james | Jun 1 2019 16:58 utc | 103


For comparison you left out the narco-state of Columbia and the drug transit state of Mexico.

Interesting that the US provides about 600 million is aid to Columbia. It is not just Coco-cola that needs coca leaf production.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 1 2019 17:16 utc | 104

Illargi and others have called Assange the Martin Luther King of our time.

Now MLK is being smeared anew. We already knew that MLK had at least one extramarital affair, but now - based on dubious transcripts of FBI tapes with little credibility (because they were clearly out to get King) - we are told that King engaged in orgies and encouraged rape.

This article by King biographer Garrow is being widely hailed as "new information" about King and cited as though it were fact. But what all these reports leave out is that the FBI was intent on destroying King as proven by many examples, including sending a letter to King and his wife with audio tapes (or portion of the tapes) to blackmail him!!!

Historians attack Pitt professor David Garrow's Martin Luther King allegations:

The actual tapes and transcripts of the King recordings are under court seal at the National Archives until Jan. 31, 2027. Mr. Garrow acknowledges that he has not listened to them or viewed transcripts.... Mr. Garrow’s willingness to believe the FBI summaries are accurate is being questioned by other historians. At the time the reports were made, the FBI was engaged in a years-long disinformation campaign to undermine King’s standing.

. . .

Donna Murch, a Rutgers University historian who specializes in the civil rights movement, said the story had a “strange trail of evidence ...that seems just very, very flimsy to me.”

The most incendiary claim is made in a handwritten notation by an unknown person on one of the typed summaries. If accurate, the notation indicates that King was witness to a sexual assault.


“I would question the veracity of an anonymous, handwritten note on an FBI report,” said Yale historian Glenda Gilmore, who has worked extensively with FBI reports on civil rights activists. Files like these contain “a great deal of speculation, interpolation from snippets of facts, and outright errors.”

Johns Hopkins University historian Nathan Connolly, who has also examined FBI files, said, “I would be deeply suspicious.”

“That [the allegations] can just be put out there by a historian as if it happened is obviously the height of being archivally irresponsible,” Mr. Connolly said.... [adding that] the culture of the FBI at the time was that agents were “sent out with marching orders, not simply to recount what is happening on the ground.”

Ms. Gilmore said the same: “Often agents and informers were writing toward an overarching narrative that clearly impacted their judgment and activated their impulse to please their superiors in Washington.”

. . .

Ms. Murch, the Rutgers historian, said Mr. Garrow did not provide adequate context about the new documents. She noted that some right-leaning media outlets and blogs, like The American Conservative and Free Republic, parroted Mr. Garrow’s claims and were framing it as the #MeToo movement “coming for” King and his legacy.

“Because it’s framed as a #MeToo claim, it’s framed as something subversive,” she said. “But actually this is a long tradition of sexualization of black politics and black political figures as a way to undermine legitimate political claims.”

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Pamela Anderson had the best response to the MLK new smears:

In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends

Don't let these smears go unchallenged.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 1 2019 17:31 utc | 105

Bogged, project of the government and the Episcopate to pacify the country


Faced with the "escalation" of violence in the first months of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate (CEM) urges urgently implement the plan of peace agreed by the Church with the federal government, but which even the date is still undefined.

Being still an elected candidate, López Obrador was the one who asked for ecclesiastical support to pacify the country. And the Episcopate not only accepted, but since last September it elaborated its collaboration project for the construction of peace, making available its personnel and its infrastructure to achieve that goal.

Archbishop Carlos Garfias, vice president of the CMS and in charge of coordinating the efforts of the Mexican bishops to support the federal government, comments with concern:

"Violence is still very present, very alive. The statistics show that it has intensified. Faced with this reality of violence, today it becomes more urgent to implement the peace and reconciliation project that we have agreed with the federal government. "

Monsignor Alfonso Miranda, general secretary of the CEM, seconded: "We all need to participate. No one, alone, can solve the problem of violence in the country. And as far as the Church is concerned, we are still in the best disposition to collaborate. "

However, eight months after the Episcopate presented its collaboration project, both prelates indicate that "with the government we are still in a stage of rapprochement, approach and search for greater dialogue."

Garfias abounds: "We have not yet defined what the collaboration route will be. First of all, we need to dialogue with an instance of direct dialogue, but also determine very clearly how we will contribute our projects. All that is to be defined. "

This lack of definition is due in large part to the federal government. In the beginning, as president-elect, López Obrador appointed Loretta Ortiz as the person in charge of the process of pacification and interlocutor with the Church. Ortiz got the support of the CEM, the Society of Jesus and the Holy See itself, all with extensive experience in peace processes. Even Ortiz even invited Pope Francis to Mexico to give a message of encouragement.

In an interview with this weekly, in October of last year, Loretta Ortiz enthusiastically announced that she would have an office in the Ministry of Security, through which she would coordinate the efforts of the government and the Church.

He assured then: "My unit will be called Human Security and Peace Processes. It will be the coordinating center for the pacification of the country and will depend on the new Secretariat of Security. Like the Catholic, other churches can join our efforts, as well as social organizations "(Process 2189).

Failed interaction

When Lopez Obrador assumed the Presidency, Loretta Ortiz was relegated from that encomienda and even later contended to be a minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, a position that she did not manage to achieve.

Now, according to the bishops Carlos Garfias and Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, the Episcopate no longer has a dialogue with Ortiz, but with several officials from the Ministry of the Interior and the current Secretariat for Security and Citizen Protection, whose holders are Olga Sánchez Cordero and Alfonso Durazo , respectively.

The prelates indicate that they have met separately with both Sánchez Cordero and Durazo. But mainly, they say, they have held meetings with the team of Diana Álvarez Maury, undersecretary of Citizen Participation, Participatory Democracy and Civil Organizations, of the Interior.

These officials, they say, present their proposals for collaboration that at the time were exposed to Loretta Ortiz and were delineated in the Plan of the Catholic Church for the construction of peace, a document issued by the Episcopate on September 11. last year, in response to the invitation of López Obrador to collaborate in the pacification.

This indicates, for example, the willingness of the CMS to collaborate with its so-called "listening centers", parish spaces that it is opening throughout the country and where spiritual and legal attention is given to the victims of violence. Each listening center has a team of psychologists, lawyers, priests and lay people who carry out this social work.

The collaboration plan also lists six "actions" of the Episcopate to achieve peace:

First: "to support the clergy in dioceses vulnerable to violence"; second: to promote among priests, seminarians and laity "training for the service of mediation in situations of conflict"; third: to prepare the seminarians in "strategies for the construction of peace"; fourth: train priests in the management of "situations of pain and death"; fifth: disseminate "security protocols" in the presbytery, and sixth: create "crisis committees".

And while the collaboration between the Episcopate and the government remains unspecified, official figures reveal that the first quarter of 2019 was the most violent in the history of the country, registering 8,493 executions, more than 7,667 registered in the same period last year.

Concerned about this increase in violence, CEM issued a statement on Thursday 2, in the framework of its recent plenary assembly. The bishops point out: "We are doing the anguish of the country, which continues to suffer violence, insecurity, poverty, inequality, political uncertainty, environmental deterioration and social inequality."

In that assembly - held from April 29 to May 3 - the almost 150 Mexican bishops analyzed the current escalation of violence, especially during the exhibition on the subject that made them -with graphs and statistics- Dr. Rodrigo Guerra López, member of the Diocese for the Integral Human Development Service.

The warnings of the CEM

Separately, some bishops issue warning signals about the increase in violence in their respective dioceses. For example, the Cuernavaca, Ramón Castro, issued a statement on April 18 in which he said:

"Morelos is experiencing the worst moment in its history in terms of security; the bloodshed is scandalous and the way criminal groups operate is increasingly unpunished.

"They are already 453 executed in three and a half months. The insecurity that lives Morelos is strong, the most serious of its history, never before so many people had been killed in such a short time. Given this complex situation we see a Morelos hurt, hurt, angry, but also apathetic and indifferent in the face of this situation of violence. "

And he urged the government and society of Morelos to "join efforts" in order to "recover the peace that we long for".

While the bishop of the turbulent Michoacán diocese of Apatzingán, Cristóbal Ascencio García, said in a statement on April 16 that the "power struggle" between "armed groups" is causing "devastating events" in the region, among which he mentioned murders recent, as well as parochial houses and temples "outraged with bullets with weapons of high power".

And last April 23, in the Chamber of Deputies, Carlos Garfias said that the recent massacre in Minatitlán -in which 13 people were murdered- is "another expression of the situation of violence that our country continues to have and that demands give organicity to our efforts to build peace "

He added that "there are many efforts and many attempts to achieve peace, but they are isolated actions. With the Minatitlan massacre we have a stronger challenge to implement a precise project in which we all participate. "

That day, Garfias and Alfonso Miranda were at the San Lázaro campus to present the film documentary Tragedia y crucol del priccercio in Mexico, which deals with the escalation of murders against priests, which some analysts already describe as a "clericide".

There, before some legislators, Bishop Miranda read a speech where he reiterated the disposition of the Episcopate to collaborate in the process of pacification. He pointed out that "not only in the field of reflection, but above all in that of action, many bishops, priests and lay people have become defenders of human rights."

He also mentioned in his speech the infrastructure currently available to the Episcopate to collaborate with the government: 20 human rights centers, 35 listening centers to assist victims of violence, 119 migrant homes, eight care centers for relatives of missing, 97 prisoner care groups, 151 orphanages and 34 centers for children and women in street situations, among other "social works".

In search of new routes

Garfias and Miranda chat with the reporter during a recess in the plenary assembly of bishops, held at the headquarters of the CEM, the imposing bunker located in a depopulated area of Lake Guadalupe and where the bishops were in retreat during the five days of sessions.

Monsignor Garfias shrugs and reiterates:

-The collaboration between the government and the Episcopate remains undefined. There is no route definition. We are still in the stage of approaching and making proposals.

- And what proposals have been made for the moment?

- For example, there is the possibility of creating a National Council for the Construction of Peace, composed of the authorities, the Church and civil society. Besides, there is our proposal to promote a project of education and training for peace. We meanwhile have been working on this project in some parts of the country.

Current Archbishop of Morelia and Vice President of the CEM for the triennium 2018-2021, Garfias has extensive experience in processes of pacification and victim assistance. For example, being archbishop of Acapulco, he was the first to open the listening centers that have now spread throughout the country. In August of last year, the Episcopate appointed him his representative before the government of López Obrador to collaborate in the pacification, for which he participated -invited by Loretta Ortiz- in the forums for peace that took place at that time.

Now, Garfias points out that, for the time being, Alfonso Durazo thinks it's a good idea to work together in the listening centers. Add:

"The listening centers can be the starting point of our collaboration with the government, because in these spaces the victims are directly served. This is very important, since first you need to rebuild the person and then move on to rebuild the community.

"If the injured person is not reconciled with himself, he will never be able to rebuild the social fabric. That's why we think that the listening centers will be the starting point, and it seems that there is good government willingness to do so. "

-These listening centers are usually in the parishes, can the government then access these ecclesiastical spaces?

-The idea is that the centers are expanding to other spaces: to the school environments, to the colonies ... Already with a national plan, you can even schedule the annual opening of a certain number of listening centers, to install them in different points and make them available to victims.

Regarding the so-called "centers of reconciliation", where the Church gathers the victims with their perpetrators to promote reconciliation and forgiveness, as a next stage to the listening centers, Garfias still sees very far that can be implemented in collaboration with the government.

And not to mention a more advanced stage implemented by the Bishop of Chilpancingo-Chilapa, Salvador Rangel, who already talks directly with the leaders of the drug cartels. This position is rejected by the government, under the argument that it does not talk with criminals. But the Episcopate accepts it, leaving each bishop at liberty to talk to the capos.

"These are particular circumstances, something very personal that each bishop can implement to carry out his apostolate. It is a very concrete, very precise way to build peace, "concludes Garfias.

Thus, apart from the fact that the collaboration between the government and the Church has yet to be defined, it seems that, if it becomes concrete, it will have certain limits.

This report was published on May 12, 2019 in the 2219 edition of the magazine Proceso


by Raymundo Riva Palacio and Neri.

May 14 was the morning that brought the surprise in the National Palace; President López listed his priorities in the fight against drug trafficking.
First, take care of the causes, which you have said are socio-economic.
Then, have the National Guard, which is a quick reaction force, like a SWAT team.
Then a campaign aimed at young people, to raise awareness about the evils of addiction.
After that, "agreements with the United States", which is not clear what it means, and to modify the police approach to combating drugs, to place it as a health issue, which has to do with prevention and campaigns so that they do not become consumed narcotics
Finally, the bomb. "I do not rule out the possibility of reaching a peace agreement," the president said.
The press asked him for immediate clarification. "With the narco?" He was asked. "With everyone," he replied. "Everyone to behave well".
The subject was no longer discussed. But this Thursday, the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection published in the Official Gazette of the Federation what the president mentioned.
It was the National Public Security Strategy, which has eight objectives that seek the ethical regeneration of criminals and murderers so that they stop committing crimes, opening the possibility for them to lead legal and regular businesses.
With this, it was established, it is wanted "to undertake the construction of peace," and that there be a demobilization, disarmament and reintegration process.
"Violence obliges us to put on the table solutions applied in other countries to armed conflicts," says the strategy.
By re-educating them and injecting ethical values, they dream, they will see the possibility of increasing their life expectancy, leading a quiet life without worries and, even, reaching social respectability.
If the document is not a joke in bad taste for Mexicans, the strategy of marras is a mixture of ingenuity, ignorance, confusion or, perhaps, tramp perversity.
A button of sample is when in its plea of the reconstruction of the moral life of the criminals, affirms that it is the way in which the government of the United States acted in the 30s of the last century, "to put an end to the mafias that plagued your cities.
From that process, the bonanza arose in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Miami and other investment centers. "
The period referred to is the end of the Prohibition of the consumption and production of alcohol, during the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt - whom he admires and in whom López Obrador is inspired - but the conclusion of the Strategy is superficial and wrong.
The era of prohibition was capitalized by the mafias in the United States, true, but it did not detonate the violence -which is the popular belief expanded even within the Fourth Transformation-, as argued Harvard professor Mark Moore, in a influential article that he published in The New York Times in 1989.
Affirm that the end of Prohibition. Violence rose in some states in the hand of the change of a rural and agricultural population to a manufacturing in the urbanization of the United States.
In those highly urban states and cities like New York and Chicago, the levels of violence remained stable.
Speaking of the bonanza of cities as a result of the legalization of alcohol, is somewhat rocky.
Atlantic City, 200 kilometers south of New York, was a resting place for the rich, and it was only until the late 70's, with the opening of casinos, that it emerged as a buoyant place.
Las Vegas was born in 1947, product of the dream of Benjamin Siegel, who opened the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in the middle of the desert.
"Bugsy" Siegel was one of the assassins of Charles "Lucky" Luciano, and had the vision of raising an oasis of play with the support and money of the mafia.
His birth was a byproduct of the criminal business, not as a success of the end of Prohibition.
The Miami in which they must have thought when they wrote the strategy should be the current one, whose center is spectacular and grows every year, after having been a pit of beggars and drug addicts.
But its brightness began in the 80's, but with the money of Colombian drug traffickers, especially Carlos Lehder and Pablo Escobar.
The analogy with the consequences of the Prohibition is not the only failed strategy.
There is also the hodgepodge that the Strategy makes between what is a drug cartel, with all the illegal business in the criminal markets that create, feed and reproduce, and the armed movements, when they are proposing alternatives of negotiation with the guerrillas.
This confusion is much more serious than that of the Prohibition, because although in the latter only show ignorance, in the options for the "construction of peace" are the details of the Devil.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jun 1 2019 17:47 utc | 106

@ Jackrabbit | Jun 1, 2019 1:31:28 PM #105

Having a string of adulterous affairs is one thing, but laughing and urging-on a forcible rape is quite another. In my opinion the FBI of Hoover's day was not to be trusted any more than the current organization.

Years ago having skilled actors produce a scripted audio recording was an easy task, and with today's technology producing near-perfect renditions of yours or my voice planning revolution or mass murder would be a trivial matter. Soon they'll be able to create convincing videos of their targets doing anything at all.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 1 2019 17:48 utc | 107

c1ue @102--

Thanks for your reply! I spent many hours yesterday reading up on MMT and the specific ways it would help the economic situation for ordinary folk in most nations since the neoliberal model is locked-in most everywhere. In doing so, writing off debt wasn't nearly as important as injecting money into the economic sectors that would benefit the 99%, which IMO is where the moral imperative lies. Writing off debt presents itself as a big political problem thanks to the repetitive propaganda fed to the masses meaning millions need to be re-educated and the economic charlatans and their BigLie Media allies exposed for what they are. And it's not like Hudson's alone in his quest. He explains the "balance-of-power" within the field of economics--what was once political-economy--thusly: The elite universities indoctrinate you into Junk Economics whereas the small, outlier universities like the University of Missouri Kansas City teach actual political-economy, but those from the elite schools get hired by the FIRE sector and use the revolving door between it and government to keep their position (I looked for the words he uses, but settled on paraphrasing). In this long, concise interview, Hudson explains how the monetary sector gained the upperhand and created today's dysfunctional situation, along with a host of other information.

The main point the USA's 99% need to learn is household debt differs greatly from federal government debt. The EU faces a completely different problem given its governing rules. The rest of the world's nations need to free themselves from dollar hegemony and conduct as much business as possible in their own national currencies--and stay away from IMF/World Bank dollar denominated loans that kill the economy. As part of its BRI, China could use its enormous amount of dollars to allow nations hamstrung by IMF/World Bank dollar loans to pay off those loans and accept the nation's currency as collateral so they can thus conduct commerce using their own currencies. This would save the indebted nation from continuing austerity as it would be able to pay China back using it's own currency instead of having to "earn" dollars or yuan through exports. Such actions would rapidly break dollar hegemony and establish an actual free trading market using a plethora of currencies. Of course, the Outlaw US Empire would fight such as it's already doing, but there's very little it can do to prevent such from occurring. China of course, would need to be motivated to do such; and the way it's being treated by the Empire, seems very motivational to me.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 1 2019 18:32 utc | 108

@99 Jackrabbit

Besides reading, reading comprehension is requisite. DID I WRITE ANYWHERE THAT THE U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL IS THE PRIVATE ATTORNEY OF THE PRESIDENT??? N-O! I wrote that Trump's hand picked AG, Barr, is also acting as his private attorney. Do you not recognize the difference here or are you spinning again just to malign me cause something else pissed you off?

James, the feeling is so mutual, but what bothers you most? Is it the truth or the fact that my convictions are clear and I refuse to betray them in exchange for winning the popularity contest here? Unlike...a certain weather vane, maybe?

One more thing, did I write any of you two are Trump bootlickers? Again, N-O. All I'm saying is that you don't give them bootlickers the cover they need to explain why they put Assange in the rear view not to have to admit Trump is a deep state Zionist ass-hole.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 1 2019 21:12 utc | 109

james 103 "how did we get to this place?"

For Australia and I think Canada and NZ, part of that is elected office holders swearing alliegence to a foreign monarch to be able to take office. We have never been an independent sovereign state.
Some appear to be obedient poodles whereas others (the anglosphere crowd) are wholehearted and enthusiastic about carrying out British or US schemes, and for Australia - to the point of enthusiastically sacrificing Australian citizens in the interests of the US or Britain.
"The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence"

Although the US is the face of the persecution against Assange, it is a five eyes project. Five eyes seems to me to be very much an anglosphere deep state.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 1 2019 21:27 utc | 110

isaac 58
Roger Daltry of The Who was interviewed and asked about Brexit affecting British Music. He compared being ruled by the EU to being ruled by the mafia like "being governed by FIFA."

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 1 2019 22:05 utc | 111

karlof 1 #76 and ciue 102
The FED is holding over $1 Trillion in US Treasuries that it bought with 0. So those could easily be written off.

Yes, interesting that SS holds IOUs in the form of Treasuries. Since it is past pay-as-you-go, American have to pay twice first in the form of deductions and second in the form of taxes to pay off those SS Treasuries.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 1 2019 22:09 utc | 112

Back to Assange. Craig Murray posits that in its treatment of Assange and rejection of other judgments by international jurists and juridical organizations, the UK has achieved Rogue State Status, joining the Outlaw US Empire as its junior partner as an International Outlaw. Murray buttresses his case by citing Jonathon Cook's outstanding essay on the matter. The repetitive lies by BigLie Media seem to confirm the UK's relationship to the Outlaw US Empire as Airstrip One. And it's not just Tories doing the vilifying. It appears a rather large amount of work will need to be done in UK to purge all those elements out of government and private positions of power similar to what must be done in Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 1 2019 22:54 utc | 113

@ karlof1 with the Assange link, thanks

I like the meme link of Assange to MLK. I am sure that some blacks will not like it but when you look at the "Speaking Truth to Power" aspect and potential ramifications, I think it works. And, we don't know if Assange is dead yet but where are the Skripal's?

As as to the observation that your Outlaw Empire includes the UK now as a partner, it shows support for why I continue to call for an end to global private finance......I posit that until/unless a Fortune 500 biggest global trust funds is compiled and released, we haven't a clue where the elite of centuries all live or who they are. The Rothschild name is in the news for it currently running its annual gathering of elite but do those folks really represent all that own FED, Bank of England, BIS, World Bank, all the multi-national corporations, the MSM, etc.?

I don't care and think humanity is poorly served by going after individuals when the structure of our social contract with private finance instead of public represents the core of the international conflicts going on and the dysfunctional contortions like war that mankind is going through to keep the elite of the West in power.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 1 2019 23:50 utc | 114

The unstoppable Caitlin writes yet another piece and also links to the video interview Democracy Now! conducted with UN Special Rapporteur Nils Melzer, which at just 15 minutes everyone ought to have time to watch. But what Caitlin, Murray, Cook, and numerous others want to underline about Melzer's observations is the longstanding, ongoing intensive smear campaign waged against Assange as a human that amounts to the Two Minutes of Hate aimed at Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984, such that whenever his name's mentioned a visceral reaction automatically occurs--dehumanization very similar to the tirades employed during the Anti-Communist Crusade. As Caitlin intones:

"For someone like me who writes all the time about the primary agenda of the powerful to control the dominant narrative, it is extremely gratifying to see the toxic influence of mass media smear campaigns highlighted in such a direct, simple and authoritative way. The ability of the owners of the political/media class to discredit and neutralize anyone who poses a threat to their interests simply by rearranging the narratives about them is one of the most destructive psychological weapons in their arsenal, yet it’s difficult to highlight for mainstream public understanding without testimony like Melzer’s." [My Emphasis]

Upending the narrative is so important in so many areas as so much of what people are taught nowadays are distortions and outright falsehoods. Indeed, such falsehoods form the basis for the Current Oligarchy's control. What was Winston Smith's goal? To smash the controlling narrative so people would be capable of thinking freely. But as Caitlin concludes that alone isn't sufficient. It's easy to say--Don't get fooled again--but it's hard to overcome the psychological shame of having been fooled in the first place and then acting on the truth.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 2 2019 0:01 utc | 115

China to finally get involved in Syraq conflict:

"An informed Iraqi source present at the meeting of the center told IRNA on Saturday that given the great success of the quadripartite center and security cooperation between Iran, Iraq, Russia and Syria in the war on terrorism, some other countries, including China, have expressed their readiness."

Yes, it would be better to get this news from a Chinese source. Given the current geopolitical situation, It would be in China's interest to join.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 2 2019 0:25 utc | 116

@ karlof1 | Jun 1, 2019 8:25:41 PM #116

Yes, it would be better to get this news from a Chinese source.

The Chinese may have wanted it this way - an obscure little story which is supposed to be a "signal" to anybody paying attention. Remember when Xi Jinping visited that obscure rare earth factory out in the middle of nowhere? This could be the same thing. I'm not sure what - if anything - this latest move amounts to, but I doubt if it's trivial.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 2 2019 0:49 utc | 117

@ karlof1 with the request for confirmation of China's further involvement in geopolitics

Below is a Xinhuanet post that might do the trick

China makes 3-point proposal on enhancing defense cooperation in Asia-Pacific

The enticing quote
Second, to build an open and inclusive architecture for defense cooperation. Military blocs left over from the cold war were the choices of only a small number of countries and do not represent the preference of the majority of regional and international communities, Ci said.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 2 2019 0:50 utc | 118

@ c1ue | Jun 1, 2019 12:39:31 PM #102

Writing off the SS portion of debt means destroying Social Security along with all of the people who depend on it. Central bank writeoff? Not going to end well.

That last sentence must be considered in terms of the viewpoint of whoever is designing/engineering a repudiation of the national debt. Taking down Social Security would do wonders for the enlargement of the "servant class". Also, the program could be turned into a system of payments which would barely stave off starvation for those who've managed to find a roofed shack somewhere. Just the way things ought to be if you care to paraphrase Rush 'druggie' Limpaugh.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 2 2019 1:02 utc | 119

Replies to my @116--

Thanks for those! Mine came from Chinahand's twitter, usually an informed source. He also tweeted about this LA Times article: "For the U.S. and China, it’s not a trade war anymore — it’s something worse."

"Officials on both sides of the Pacific have begun to portray the U.S.-China relationship in nationalistic and emotion-charged terms that suggest a much deeper conflict."

The article provides evidence to prove the above premise, but we've already read such reporting by Pepe Escobar, Alastair Crooke and others. Unfortunately, few writers have attempted to describe the ideological chasm, which is actually rather simple except for the fact of BigLie Media's longstanding misrepresentation of Neoliberalism's Zero-Sum ethic. So, properly informing the public means having to alter the controlling narrative--something seldom done. I doubt we'll see any English language media describe BRI as akin to the Marshall Plan but with Chinese Characteristics. Above @108 I exemplify how China could use its T-bills to rapidly undermine dollar hegemony in a manner the Outlaw US Empire can do nothing to prevent. The G-20 will be held in Osaka at the end of June, and it ought to be intense as China seems to be preparing its cards.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 2 2019 1:18 utc | 120

@karlof1 #108
Yes, Dr. Michael Hudson is a great resource. I would also point to the published works by Stiglitz.
However, whether MMT, jubilee, public banking, New New Deal or whatever, the ultimate problem still lies with the willingness of the US establishment (i.e. those with money) to allow those programs to occur.
Every single one of those options means real losses for those winning the inequality struggle today. As I've noted before, there have been 3 major instances where a notable person from the oligarchy turned against their peers in order to stave off revolution. However, I don't see anyone remotely approaching this type of personality, drive or ambition today.
Even the robber barons of old, still felt guilty. Carnegie, for example, spent a lot of money actually building things ranging from universities to libraries to other public works.
The robber barons of today? Not so much. Even the big name tech non-profits - the actual mechanics are damning: these major foundations are only required to pay out 5% a year, but their own operations generate more return than that. So not only does the billionaire get to convert their capital gains with zero losses, the tax free sum can continue to grow, tax free, even as it employs their descendants forever and pushes their agendas likewise. To put numbers on it: $1 billion put into one of these trusts must pay out $50M a year, but the stock market has averaged 10.4% return (note this doesn't exclude growth due to just inflation) in the entire 20th century. The 5% payout rule basically forces payout of the pure inflation growth along with a fraction of even passive investor growth.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 2 2019 1:27 utc | 121

@Curtis #112
$1 trillion of Fed treasuries is a little less than 1 year's worth of national debt growth at the average rate of accumulation in the past decade.
Not going to make a difference.
Furthermore, writing off Fed Treasuries doesn't help 90%+ of American people in any way, shape or form.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 2 2019 1:28 utc | 122

. . .from China's three-point proposal
"First, to promote positive interaction between major countries for defense cooperation. Only when major-country relations remain generally stable can the Asia-Pacific enjoy relative tranquility, Ci said, adding healthy interaction between major countries requires their joint efforts towards the same goal."

Positive interaction is last thing the US wants bacause the USG strategy is to always have bad relations with appointed enemy countries because thay are "threats to US security" and actually threats to US world hegemony AKA the much-repeated "the rules-based international order."

from the recent Indo-Pacific Strategy Report

The People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, seeks to reorder the region to its advantage by leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce other nations. . . In contrast, the Department of Defense supports choices that promote long-term peace and prosperity for all in the Indo-Pacific. We will not accept policies or actions that threaten or undermine the rules-based international order – an order that benefits all nations. We are committed to defending and enhancing these shared values. . .here

The US will not accept international equality, or any change to US dominance.

It's similar with the other three major US appointed enemies, Russia Iran and North Korea. Bad relations sustain the Pentagon budget, and everyone profits thereby.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 1:31 utc | 123

c1ue @121--

Thanks for your reply! I only have time for this short response to your 2nd sentence. To get what needs to be done into the political arena and voted on, the narrative must change so that the 99%--AND--candidates/legislators are properly informed. And the narrative must change globally, not just within the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 2 2019 1:36 utc | 124

@110 peter au... thanks for that overview.. i kind of understand it intuitively, but you are putting it in terms i and others can quickly understand... jesus, i wish it was different... i think the other shoe to this is the financial angle that others are trying to go into... it is like everyone touching the elephant and getting a slightly different impression of just what it is..

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2019 1:38 utc | 125

@ Don Bacon with the quote that included the "rules-based international order" verbiage.

That rule-based international order is code for private finance. Them that control finance make the rules....

When and how do we get to see the geo-political discussion about what constitutes this "rules-based international order"?

Probably the same time we get the Fortune 500 world biggest trust funds.....

I agree that the coming G20 could be a real shoot out at the OK corral.....but I thought last year and the previous.....when do we get to the tipping point?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 2 2019 1:46 utc | 126

@ ph
When do we get to the tipping point?
Yogi Berra: "It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 1:54 utc | 127

@ peter and others.. further to the comments on poodle nations, here is caitlin johnstones latest

UK Foreign Secretary Defends Torturing Journalists, Then Says We Must Protect Journalists

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2019 1:58 utc | 128

"The rocky partnership between Russia and Iran in the Syrian conflict is entering a turbulent period. The unprecedented US-Russia-Israel security summit due to take place in Jerusalem next month has no other explanation.

A tersely worded White House statement on May 29 said that the summit, which will be attended by the national security advisors of the US and Russia — John Bolton and Nikolai Patrushev — will discuss regional security issues. The Israeli media expect that the focus will be on Syria — Iran and “other destabilising actors”.

Out of the two competing narratives regarding Russian-Iranian cooperation in Syria — one, that Russia and Iran are time-tested allies who smashed the West’s geopolitical conspiracies over Syria, and, two, the contrarian view that their alliance is but a marriage of convenience — the latter seems to be gaining ground. The great game theorists and acolytes of Eurasianism will be disappointed. "

Posted by: daffyDuct | Jun 2 2019 2:01 utc | 129


I guess the elephant is the Empire - mostly US but I am starting to see it as much an anglo empire.
"it is like everyone touching the elephant and getting a slightly different impression of just what it is.." perhaps the many aspects of empire and the factions and interests within it. Money is a big part because wealth is power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 2 2019 2:14 utc | 130

Regarding the discussion on writing down debt.

karlof1 made the point that householder debt and government debt are two different things. Certainly, banker debt is different, in that it never needs to be paid back.

I always remember that lenders don't ever want to be paid back. They want the interest to keep coming forever. If you can go about halfway through your 30-year mortgage and then re-finance your obligation for another 30 years - because, "lower payments" - the bankers are ecstatic.

There was a time when only the money changers could accumulate the necessary capital (albeit derived from other people's money) to become lenders, but my sense is that the principal of a loan doesn't really need to exist anymore. All you need is the license to lend, and the fictitious "principal" is breathed into being concurrently.

So - no one wants the principal repaid. Everyone wants the income from the interest payment to continue.

On this basis, I believe it would be relatively straightforward to hand out "haircuts" to the punters and reschedule all debts at lower interest payments per month. The media would call it a triumph, we could all rejoice to find our "indebtedness" - as expressed in terms of annual payments - had been reduced, and very few would note that while our monthly/annual payments had gone down, nevertheless the term of our indebtedness had increased, probably by one or two decades.

No one wants the principal repaid. Everyone wants the the debtor nation to keep paying as much as it can pay - ideally without totally collapsing - forever.

I see no problem with renegotiating the US debt for a lower apparent indebtedness, against a longer term of indebtedness - and doubtless pledged against national assets that we continue to think the country owns.


ps..I don't intend for this to sound cynical. I think the cynicism is already there, built into the financial system of lending and repaying - according to the nightmarish terms of compound interest - that the money changers have devised, and have deployed using all the paradigms, and layers of propaganda and artifice, that form the foundation for all the lies that have subsequently piled on top.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 2 2019 2:15 utc | 131

Regarding Russia and Iran, every country tends to look out for its own interests, which is the way it should be, as opposed to the US model where every ally is supposed to put US interests first. That's where China has the advantage, generally not getting involved in other countries' politics.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 2:20 utc | 132

That line is only followed by those who have no concept of a multi polar world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 2 2019 2:22 utc | 133

@ DaffyDuct with the link about US/Russia/Israel/Iran

No facts but lots of purported conclusions I don't buy given the game in play. It also does not include dynamics about other nations that are aligning and operating within this context.

Time will clarify all but it is encouraging to read that meetings are scheduled/happening instead of nukes lobbed

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 2 2019 2:27 utc | 134

That Russia-Iran analysis inexplicably highlighting national differences was by an Indian, a country which has generally followed an independent path after its British occupation experience.
India is continuing to exhibit its independent steak recently, telling the US it won't be a part of the "Quad" -- US Australia Japan India. And this after the US went and renamed its Pacific Command the Indo-Pacific Command. . . heh

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 2:37 utc | 135

@130 peter.. yes - anglo empire is a better way to see it...

regarding the caitlin article on jeremy hunt, i sent it to the uk conservative party via e mail.. i wonder who opens it? i told them to forward it to jeremy hunt!


Thank you for your email. This message is an automated response to acknowledge it has arrived safely.

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2019 2:45 utc | 136

@129 daffyduct... thanks for pointing out the link from indian punchline... i am not sure how much faith i would put in voa quotes, but it was worth reading regardless.. i think russia is a master strategist... we'll see what comes from the meeting in israel with usa and israel... russia might want a resolution in syria, but no one who is paying attention would entertain the usa-israel want a resolution in syria! or only to keep it in some broken up context... and, i am sure russia is aware of this too..

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2019 3:15 utc | 137

The background story on how the US took over the reins of world hegemony from UK. "World War II was Churchill’s War, not Hitler’s war. " . .and first UK was encouraged to take it on, then came the military defeats, then the US entry which resulted in USA #1, and no bad feelings, UK is still the top US ally. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 3:16 utc | 138

and how does one get an agreement with a rogue nation - usa or israel?? as someone else said - usa / israel - non negotiable...

Israel confirms strikes against multiple Syrian military targets

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2019 3:23 utc | 139

Israel also confirmed that claims of dropping bombs is helpful with an election coming up.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 3:39 utc | 140

Assange is in prison because Trump wants him there. If Trump wanted to he could have asked Barr to hold back on the recent 17 new charges that were piled on to the indictment/warrant! Trump is using Assange as a sacrificial lamb to terrorize journalists who rely on leaked information and whistleblowers. This is your xou-xou Trump, you...bootlicking cowards who would rather Assange rot in prison than Trump who should be in his place right now!

Assange better have some goods on Trump or he'll die behind bars cause each charge carries a maximum 10 YEARS, so do the math!

Posted by: Circe | Jun 2 2019 3:50 utc | 141

Calm down, Circe, and stop calling other bloggers cowards. Have you risked anything lately? Do tell us about it, brave one.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 4:00 utc | 142

daffyDuct @129:

I like to read what Bhadrakumar has to say, but in this case I think he is indulging his vivid imagination. Iran is central to the Eurasian project, and the Eurasian project is a Putin priority. That meeting does look interesting, and it offers the possibility of a better understanding of the motives and desires of the partipants.

Turkey and Russia are at loggerheads in Idlib too, that could clear some things up. That could even be what they are meeting about.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 2 2019 4:12 utc | 143

China will be the big player with Iran, not Russia, is how it looks now. Iran is a key player in China's BRI because of its size and location. Plus Iran now rules in the free Middle East. That's the future.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 4:19 utc | 144

I am struggling to understand why Russia and Iran are said to have such adverse interests in Syria. Russia wants access to a port and no Qatari gas pipeline to the Mediterranean and I assume a sphere of influence in a tense part of the world. Iran wants bases in Syria and regional allies; Israel of course can't seem to accept that. I do not see how a Russian and Iranian joint sphere of influence in Syria should be mutually exclusive other than if there are exclusive rights in specific assets such as ports.

Posted by: Schmoe | Jun 2 2019 4:29 utc | 145

Oh and what has your xou-xou Trump been up to in Syria while he's distracting with investigating the investigators?

U.S. forces are bombing oil tankers in Syria and discontent with Assad grows as electricity is disrupted and fuel shortages are increasing. Syria like Iran is suffering economically from U.S. sanctions.

Oil Tankers Syria

And is Russia doing anything about this? Of course...NOT. On the contrary! What kind of duplicitous game is Russia playing to capitalize on Syrian and Iranian pain?

Russia benefits from maximum pressure on Iran

Looks like Netanyahoo can count on Putin too to do his dirty work.

I have suspected this outcome for quite some time now.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 2 2019 4:39 utc | 146

@142. Don Bacon

Yeah, I risk every time I dare to express the unpopular truth in an echo chamber, and I do it whenever necessary without hesitation knowing full well I'll be vilified.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 2 2019 4:49 utc | 147

I don't know if other MoA barflies read the comments by a "the pilots caused the crashes" person at the end of the latest 737MAX posting by b but the person was trollishly adamant about the cause.

I mention that because I just read a posting at Reuters that reported two very different opinions about if/when the plane would return to service....One was saying by summer and the other was saying they would be surprised if by Christmas.

This is a slow motion major failure example of the financialization of corporations and lots of present and future business is riding on how this resolves or doesn't.....hence the likely paid trolls trying to effect public opinion........because greed

Boeing is the kind of failure that is inherent in the prioritizing of profit over public good and is why empire will die of its own inconsistencies without the need for external provocation like war

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 2 2019 6:57 utc | 148

Looks like Netanyahoo can count on Putin too to do his dirty work.
I have suspected this outcome for quite some time now.
Posted by: Circe | Jun 2, 2019 12:39:34 AM | 146

On the other hand, a Circe reluctant to detect, or seek, any positive factors in Trump's confusing Long Game would have even less chance of detecting positives in Putin's confusing Long Game.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 2 2019 7:18 utc | 149

Syria attacked massively attacked by Israel.
What happend with S300? Or is that already useless?

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 2 2019 7:46 utc | 150


(the Fr media have been very negative about him since his arrest; underlining he has "no more support" SIC)

Posted by: Mina | Jun 2 2019 9:57 utc | 151

@karlof1 #124
Again, I disagree. There's a reason why the major media outlets, worldwide, are owned by a handful of companies. Control of the narrative, legal or illegal funding of legislators via campaign financing and revolving door employment - who in turn are card carrying members of the oligarchy; this is all part of the same evolved system.
The notion that "more education" is all that is needed is naive.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 2 2019 10:55 utc | 152

@Grieved #131
The reason why banks love refinancing of mortgages is because the repayment schedule puts most of the interest payment up front.
For a $300K, 4%, 30 year fixed mortgage - here are the amounts of interest paid vs. principal paid at years 1, 5, 10 and 15:
Year 1: $17,186.95 total paid vs. $11,903.85 interest vs. 1.76% principal repaid.
Year 5: $85.934.75 total paid vs. 57,277.29 interest vs. 9.55% principal repaid
Year 10: $171,869.51 total paid vs. $108,221.38 interest vs. 21.22% principal repaid
Year 15: $257,804.26 total paid vs. $151,432.06 interest paid vs. 35.46% principal repaid

As you can see, even going 15 years on a 30 year, with a 4% low interest, the borrower is paying far more in interest than principal at the halfway point.

For 8% interest, the numbers are even worse:
$300K, 8% interest, 30 years, fixed rate
Year 1: $26415.52 total paid vs. $23,909.43 interest paid vs. 0.84% principal repaid
Year 5: $132077.62 total paid vs. $117287.19 interest paid vs. 4.93% principal
Year 10: $264155.25 total paid vs. $227329.36 interest paid vs. 12.28% principal
Year 15: $396232.87 total paid vs. $260158.79 interest paid vs. 23.22% principal

This makes it look like low interest rates benefit people - but of course, in reality low rates cause house prices to skyrocket. The $769.05 monthly payment difference between the 2 examples above means the $300K mortgage @8% equals more than $450K @4% = which is how the housing bubble came to be. And, of course, the borrower owes a lot more money.

Lenders may not want the principal back immediately, but they 100% want to ensure that they will always get the principal back, no matter what.

Lenders that don't worry about getting the principal back are called sub-prime lenders and charge much, much higher rates than 4% or 8%, and at the extreme end, will at least collect knees and bones.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 2 2019 12:02 utc | 153

@149 Hoarsewhisperer

Speaking about Trump bootlickers who continue to deny reality and profess see 4-dimensional genius in every shet move Trump pulls out of his ass...

Posted by: Circe | Jun 2 2019 12:08 utc | 154

On a blog that regularly reveals that the MSM regularly deals in lies not truth, some readers are quoting -- Israeli!! -- media as truth. Makes no sense.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 13:03 utc | 155

I suppose Circe would be happier if the Obama crowd were on duty, starting more wars.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 13:05 utc | 156

@ Shmoe 145
I am struggling to understand why Russia and Iran are said to have such adverse interest. ..
Seems to me that you understand it quite well. Russia and Iran are very different countries with different goals, naturally.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 13:08 utc | 157

oops - close the italics.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 2 2019 13:09 utc | 158

regarding Don Bacon | Jun 1, 2019 11:16:05 PM #138

I would urge people to read the link this person provided. It was written by the senile old fool Paul Craig Roberts, and may also tell something about the person who offered it up as 'evidence' of anything.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 2 2019 14:05 utc | 159

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 1, 2019 11:16:05 PM | 138

Yep. Hitler - Germany - miscalculated.

To claim that there was a possible diplomatic solution that would have made Hitler - Germany - keep the peace, takes a wild imagination and even then.

The Nazis needed the war to remain in power, and they needed the war economy. The German ruling class was in a fever to redo the result of WWI, inside Germany and abroad.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 2 2019 14:11 utc | 160


A single word of truth sounds like a gunshot in a roomful of the self-deceived.

You don't need to bring a loud gun to this debate.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 2 2019 15:51 utc | 161

daffyduct @ 129

Finally the truth I've dared to utter is finding its way into more widely respected viewpoints.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 2 2019 15:56 utc | 162

C1ue...thanks for having one...there is a general deficit of global financial and macroeconomic understanding among many who need to get a c1ue before spouting further nonsense, especially wrt China.

While I agree with you that governments should use their power to reverse current monetary trends in favour of the rest of us instead of the .001%, the problem with the USG devaluing the USD is the globalist system controlled by the elites prefer a strong dollar for their own purposes. I also believed back in 2009 Obama should have crashed the banks by marking-to-market all underwater mortgages and forcing immediate writedowns to protect individuals' homes and credit ratings.

Of course, the global investor class would never allow either of these devaluations to occur and they so thoroughly control the market (and political) levers in such a way to make devaluation impossible to might just as well ask for a revolution on the streets and maybe that is what you are asking for....because that is what it will take for a forced devaluation of any kind in the market oriented global world.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 2 2019 16:23 utc | 163

Zachary Smith @ 159 says:

I would urge people to read the link this person provided. It was written by the senile old fool Paul Craig Roberts,...

it doesn't read like something written by a senile old fool to me, but, granted, i haven't read the relevant histories, though i've been working steadily for 25 or 30 years to unlearn much of what they taught me up until then. maybe you could qualify your slur, 'cause i also haven't read Zachary Smith's history of WW2.

Posted by: john | Jun 2 2019 16:23 utc | 164

@162 donkeytale... you liked those voa quotes hey, lol! voice of america... can't get more propagandized then that!

"The VOA highlighted that the victors in the Syrian conflict are now turning against each other in a scramble for the spoils of war." like that is believable! meanwhile uncle scam is still bombing in east syria, anyone who wants to challenge the oil resources, or try to take out isis - the army of usa-israel... jesus, what a pathetic country the usa has become... it was bad before.. now it is utterly hopeless...

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2019 16:47 utc | 165

@donkeytale #163
I don't disagree with anything you said in general terms.
However, it is a mistake to lump all of the "investor class" into one big group. Much as real estate prices are set at the margins, so too is elite political opinion.
Even those with money - there are significant differences. Those that believe outright power or strong influence over government is what matters differ than those that want a hard money regime to solidify the status quo (or the libertarians, a particularly interesting and nihilistic subcategory).
There are also those who understand full well that the existing system is destructive, but will play within the game to the full extent allowed.
My view has evolved to the point that I don't believe there is conviction in the upper classes (any of the groups above) that revolution is possible anymore, or belief that the consequences of actions won't come. Call it a "Let them eat cake" state of mental (d)evolution. They're somewhat uneasy, hence the rise in NZ citizenships and panic rooms, but they don't really believe the revolution will come.
The Chinese Communist Party, in contrast, still holds a lot of people who witnessed enormous suffering and revolution firsthand.
Still, revolution in a wealthy, western nation is a new thing.
Germany under Hitler, let's not forget, was one generation removed from feudalism and a Kaiser.
China in 1949 was slightly over a single generation removed from the Qing dynasty.
War has historically been the means by which such outrageous societal pressures are relieved (or unleashed), but nuclear weapons make outright, industrial warfare seem highly unsuccessful.
In contrast, I also looked at the declines of the Dutch, Spanish and British empires. The Dutch were crushed by the Brits because their population was literally 1/5th the size.
The Spanish and British were actually about equal in population when the Spanish empire was around - the "underdog" business is largely bullshit, although the Spanish had tons of money due to New World silver, but of course the British were far better at sea than the Spanish (and perhaps more importantly, the Spanish had long since deforested most of their land).
But again, all of these empires were in eras of overall expansion: new overseas territories, new stashes of people and commodities to exploit, etc.
Instead, the South American model seems more likely: Argentina and Brazil used to be top tier nations but basically stopped growing for nearly a century due to internal inequality and societal/economic stagnation.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 2 2019 17:01 utc | 166

c1ue @166: it is a mistake to lump all of the "investor class" into one big group

Yup. Gotta watch out for false equivalences.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 2 2019 17:40 utc | 167

@156 Don Bacon

Wrong. Yet again. One can be against Trump and against Obama and the messianic cults that brought us both.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 2 2019 18:02 utc | 168

c1ue @152--

I didn't write that "'more education' is all that is needed." It's necessary but not sufficient. One required factor is activity/activism/pushback of the sort Hickenlooper just encountered in California and Biden experienced last week too. One thing's certain: The true state-of-affairs will not be broadcast or printed by BigLie Media--a truth recognized by more people daily.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 2 2019 18:19 utc | 169

@ john | Jun 2, 2019 12:23:33 PM #164

maybe you could qualify your slur, 'cause i also haven't read Zachary Smith's history of WW2

To some people 80 years of age isn't really "old". The man still produces coherent essays every now and then and a senile person couldn't do that. And it's true I haven't seen the results of any recent IQ test taken by Mr. Roberts. I do find it somewhat surprising that in your 25-30 years of "unlearning" you haven't run into David Irving. He is still alive, and his books have been strongly favorable to Hitler's Germany. Later he migrated into Holocaust denial. Elmer Barnes has a wiki, and that describes his belief the US ought to have been on the side of Germany in WW1. Like Irving, he was strongly pro-Hitler and a stout Holocaust denier as well.

Mr. Roberts has written a string of articles about the Crisis Actors at Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and other mass murders. In all cases he hints that nobody died. I'd invite you go google this headline.

"A holocaust was what the Americans did to the Germans

Mr. Roberts strongly recommends Holocaust deniers, but doesn't come right out and say he believes the death camps were frauds. But using the term for the non-existent event described in that title he invites readers to come to a 'denier' conclusion, same as with the way he hints that no children died at Sandy Hook.

So I've decided to correct my slur to "generally worthless POS".

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 2 2019 19:33 utc | 170

C1ue good points however the distinction between political viewpoints among Wall Streeters isnt what I meant.

The investor classes vote their shares when it comes to financial manoeuvres and and all you need do for example is look at current US share prices to understand how the strong dollar benefits investors regardless of their politics.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 2 2019 19:57 utc | 171

Zachary Smith @ 170

i asked you to qualify your slur, but all you did was regurgitate inuendo. if you want to get back to me with something meaningful, i'm all ears.

Posted by: john | Jun 2 2019 20:24 utc | 172

@karlof1 #169
I would avoid using any type of California politics as an indicator of Progressivism.
After all, Pelosi. And the CA senators. And CA politics in general is DNCC central.

@donkeytale #171
Investors voting their shares have literally nothing to do with national policies.
There is actually a tremendous difference between sovereign power and corporate power; it is only when the sovereign power is regulatorily captured, that the difference seems less visible.
I also note that "investors" who own shares in any company, have pretty much zero to say in terms of the company's actions. They can't vote out CEOs, they can't change corporate policies or direction. Thus while I believe I understand what you intended to say - what you actually said is in no way representative of reality.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 2 2019 20:38 utc | 173

Im not necessarily talking about national policies wrt currency devaluation. Currencies are traded on global markets and that is how their values relative are established and maintained relative to other national currencies.

In your example you indicated the federal reserve might try to devalue currency as a means to help poor people. In fact the fed has surely attempted to do devalue or strengthen the $ in the past although as you note not for the benefit of the 99%.

However when the US attempts to devalue China, other nations and institutional investors may also intervene to buy up $ and keep $ price high relative to their own or other currencies thus the effort by tbe Fed could easily fail.

These types of govt interventions can and do occur and quite nakedly to support the goals of their investor classes, which include exporters, importers and of course wealthy shareholders.

I wont quibble with your statement that sovereign and corporate policies are mutually exclusive. Of course they are in theory but in reality.....a state planned economy and a corporotocracy are both widely existing forms of govt where sovereign and national policies do mingle and or coexist. In the US wrt defense, MIC, govt award of contracts to corporations are examples.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 2 2019 22:46 utc | 174

ciue @173--

Resided in California many decades and know its chaotic politics well. Moved a tad North to abandon the chaos, but there's chaos and contention in politics everywhere as that's its nature.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 2 2019 22:46 utc | 175

Correction: where corporate and national policies do mingle and or coexist.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 2 2019 22:54 utc | 176

@donkeytale #174
The currency manipulation you speak of is passive: buying or selling of securities to try and change market prices.
However, FDR's gold confiscation and revaluation; Nixon's closing of the Bretton Woods gold window; the UK going off the gold standard in WW1, back in 1925, then off again for good in 1931; the South Korea recapitalization of the won - these are just a few of the more orderly sovereign manipulations in the 20th century.
The hyperinflations in Weimar, Mexico, Brazil and other South American countries are another example.
Keep in mind that the US as the sovereign owner of the USD can devalue the currency at will - and does.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 3 2019 19:50 utc | 177

@karlof1 #175
I refer to the "all or nothing" nature of the California electoral votes - which has had the effect of disenfranchising the voters for Senatorial positions and Presidential elections in North CA, Central CA and places like Orange County since George Bush Senior.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 3 2019 19:54 utc | 178

Apologies to those who claim privacy issues keep them from donating to worthwhile causes, but I have been using burner visa debit cards bought for a couple of bucks over their face value at supermarkets to donate & buy shit under a variety of made up nyms for yonks. Is it 100% anon? Who knows - that depends on how secure you keep your net device, having at least one wifi connectable device which you regularly clear out cookies from and never sign into fb/google etc on, is pretty essential nowadays & certainly means the forces of darkness are unlikely to judge that the work required to suss you for making a $50 donation to something they don't like is worth the effort.

In other words tightwads will need a better excuse for keeping their hands in their pockets.

Posted by: Dolores P Candyarse | Jun 4 2019 13:08 utc | 179

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