We just heard about the Miami high-school principal fired for soberly disagreeing on social media with the McKinney narrative. Now comes an even more outrageous story involving what’s usually called political correctness, but should really be labeled what it is: evil.
Sir Tim Hunt is a darn good scientist. So good, apparently, that he won the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology. But none of this matters to the University College London, which just forced this esteemed mind to resign over a joke he made at a conference on women in science in South Korea. The quip has been called “sexist,” you see.
And what was his trespass? Did he take the podium drunken and make lewd comments about women’s anatomy? Was it a remark about wife-battery? It must be just awful, as the 39 words uttered have now ended his career. Here’s the joke he told attendees:
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab. You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”
No, I’m not joking. That’s it. Nothing more. Yet it inspired social-media campaigners to hunt for Hunt, and the 72-year-old was ousted from his research position. Is this shell of Western civilization we’re living in for real?
Hunt’s wife, Professor Mary Collins, whom The Guardian describes as “one of Britain’s most senior immunologists,” was not immune to the fallout. She said that her “relations with University College have been badly tarnished”; I guess this was for the sin of marrying a man who’d one day make a joke to which the evil ones would take exception.
This could remind one of the babies born in North Korean prison camps, who remain in those camps, sometimes being tortured, for having the temerity to be born to a female political prisoner. And it didn’t matter that Hunt and Collins quite sincerely did the requisite groveling. Writes The Guardian, “‘I stood up and went mad,’ he [Hunt] admits. ‘I was very nervous and a bit confused but, yes, I made those remarks – which were inexcusable – but I made them in a totally jocular, ironic way.’ …Collins clutches her head as Hunt talks. ‘It was an unbelievably stupid thing to say,’ she says.”
Actually, no, we live in an unbelievably stupid civilization. That the couple is so sincerely contrite only proves again that great scientists are often social morons. After all, what reflected in Hunt’s joke is untrue? Men have, I understand, fallen in love with female co-workers; it has even been rumored that women sometimes fall in love with male co-workers. And everyone knows that, as a general rule, women are far more apt to cry than are men — including when being criticized. So what’s the problem?
It’s that we live in an age of cultural despots who subordinate Truth to the “party line.”
Note that one hallmark of tyranny is that it compels people to deny what they know is true.
The reality is that Hunt has been a good little liberal boy, but it didn’t save him. His wife proclaimed her feminism, and his, saying that he did all the cooking and chores around the house. Female scientists came forward and said he was “immensely supportive” of efforts at sexual equality and advanced the careers of both men and women researchers. But no deviation from the party line is allowed by leftist tyrannies. It’s no different from when Joseph Stalin said he would destroy even the Old Bolshevik, and “his kin, his family. Anyone who by his actions or thoughts encroaches on the unity of the socialist state, we shall destroy relentlessly.” You must be a new Bolshevik, comrade — and make sure that nothing you said yesterday was “old.”
But the “new school” people, as another great mind, Rachel Jeantel (remember her?), put it, are in like Flynn. Black Boston University professor Saida Grundy tweeted that white males are a “problem population” and viciously taunted a white rape victim on Facebook, and she will still be assuming her BU position July 1. Professor Jacqueline Warwick of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia said at a panel discussion that men should not be “allowed to speak first” in class, and she still has a job. Profane anti-Christian bigot and sex columnist Dan Savage once told high-school age kids to “ignore the bull[**]*t in the Bible” and called some of them “pansy-a**ed” when they took exception to his remarks, and he still gets paid to peddle perversion to students ($24,000 for one speech). But Hunt? He had to acknowledge, reports The Guardian, “I am finished. I had hoped to do a lot more to help promote science in this country and in Europe, but I cannot see how that can happen. I have become toxic.”
So let’s get this straight. While I’m not acquainted with Hunt’s work on cell division, I’m assuming that Nobel Prizes in science aren’t like the peace prizes, which can be awarded simply because you’re a “mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” as Joe Biden put it (Crazy Joe still has his job, too). This means that Western institutions will now choose ideological “purity” over a brilliant scientist. Is this not reminiscent of Marxist nations, which would often replace qualified doctors and researchers with goose-stepping incompetents?
The sad part of this submission to evil is that leftists are abject cowards and pack animals; stand up to them en masse, and they’ll scatter like the capons and clucking hens they are. Instead, legitimate freedom is being lost. Of course, there certainly are those in the hierarchy above Hunt who subscribe to the politically correct nonsense. But there no doubt are others who realize his joke was no big deal yet are making a calculation: “If I don’t fire the man, the guns could be turned on me and I’ll be next on the chopping block.” It could remind one of Ben Franklin’s words, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
And we are hanging separately, as sane people are picked off one by one and an iron muzzle descends across the West. It has already touched you, no doubt, as everyone is watching what he says. And barring a revolution, it’s only a matter of time before the effecting of oppression moves from the social to the governmental sphere, as we transition from the gag to the gulag.
“China is reaching deep within the world island in an attempt to thoroughly reshape the geopolitical fundamentals of global power…… Its two-step plan is designed to build a transcontinental infrastructure for the economic integration of the world island from within, while mobilizing military forces to surgically slice through Washington’s encircling containment…….If China succeeds in linking its rising industries to the vast natural resources of the Eurasian heartland, then quite possibly…. “the empire of the world would be in sight.”
— Alfred McCoy, The Geopolitics of American Global Decline, The Unz Review
“The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.”
— Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, “America’s Pacific Century”, Foreign Policy magazine.
June 23, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – “Counterpunch” – China’s meteoric rise has Washington worried, not because China is a threat to its neighbors or to US national security, but because China’s influence is expanding across the region. It’s creating the institutions it needs to finance its own development (AIIB and New BRICS Bank), it’s building the infrastructure needed to connect the continents with state-of-the-art high-speed rail (New Silk Road), and its attracting allies and trading partners who want to participate in its plan for growth and prosperity. This is why Washington is worried; it’s because China has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse that doesn’t conform to the neoliberal model of punitive austerity, pernicious privatization, and madcap asset inflation. China has slipped out of the empire’s orbit and charted its own course, which is why Washington wants to provoke Beijing over its negligible land reclamation activities in the South China Sea. Washington thinks it can succeed militarily where it has failed economically and politically. Case in point; check this out from Bloomberg News:
“The U.S. and Japan are conducting separate military drills with the Philippines near the disputed South China Sea,…The annual CARAT Philippines joint exercise started Monday off the east coast of Palawan island and will run until June 26, according to U.S. Navy spokesman Arlo Abrahamson. The Philippine and Japanese navies are holding drills around the same island through June 27, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force said last week.
The U.S. has backed Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines as tensions escalate with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea, while Japan is providing patrol vessels to the Philippine coast guard….The drill includes a sea phase with the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth, diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard and a P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft and at least one Philippine frigate, according to the U.S. Navy….
Japan’s exercises with the Philippines will take place adjacent to the Spratly Islands, where China has created more than 2,000 acres of land in waters also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia. Japan will send a P-3C anti-submarine, maritime surveillance aircraft and 20 personnel.” (“U.S., Japan Join Philippines in Navy Drills Near South China Sea”, Bloomberg)
The “show of force” drills are designed to harass and intimidate China. They have no other purpose. The US wants to force China to succumb to its diktats, to abandon its commitment to new institutions, to open its markets to US corporations and Wall Street, and to allow the US a free-hand in writing trade rules. That’s what Washington really wants and that’s why the moderate Chuck Hagel was dumped for the combative Ashton Carter as Secretary of Defense. US powerbrokers wanted a scrappy taskmaster who’d bloody China’s nose and show them who’s boss. Carter fit the bill to a “T”, an icy bureaucratic leg-breaker who fancies himself the “smartest guy in the room”. Peter Lee provides an interesting insight on Carter in a recent blog-post at China Matters. He says:
“…assertive Ash Carter is not playing bad cop to Obama/Kerry’s good cop; he’s the whole show, which will delight fans of military control of foreign policy everywhere.”
We’re glad that others are beginning to see that the Pentagon has taken over US foreign policy. Carter is clearly calling the shots in Asia and Europe.
Lee seems to believe that Carter will outlast Obama’s time in office if Madame Clinton is elected president. Which is not surprising, since it was Clinton who first introduced “pivot” to the strategic lexicon in a speech she gave in 2010 titled “America’s Pacific Century”. Clinton’s presentation laid out the basic themes that would later become America’s “top priority”, the rebalancing of US power to the Asia Pacific. Here’s an excerpt from the speech that appeared in Foreign Policy magazine:
“As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region…
Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia…
The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia…and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.” (“America’s Pacific Century”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton”, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)
Repeat: “Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests…. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia.”
There it is in a nutshell. Having reduced the great American middle class to a lifeless, rotting corpse incapable of sustaining even meager demand or growth, US elites are packing the boats and heading for China, the shining corporate Valhalla on the hill. Clinton seems to think it should be pretty easy to penetrate these bustling Asian markets provided we back up our crackbrain aspirations with a strong dose of gunboat diplomacy–which is where Boss-man Carter comes in.
It’s worth noting that Clinton did not conjure up the pivot on her own, but was briefed on the theory by pivot mastermind Kurt M. Campbell. Campbell is Co-Founder and former CEO of the Center for a New American Security. According to the Center for a New American Security website: “From 2009 to 2013, he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, where he is widely credited as being a key architect of the “pivot to Asia.” In this capacity, Dr. Campbell advanced a comprehensive U.S. strategy that took him to every corner of the Asia-Pacific region where he was a tireless advocate for American interests, particularly the promotion of trade and investment.”
In a recent video interview with neocon Robert Kagan, Campbell regurgitates the same rhetoric that appears in Clinton’s speech. He opines: “Most of the history of the 21 century is going to be in the Asia Pacific region….It is in our best national interest to show that we are going to play a central role in that drama just as we have in the 20th century….(There is bipartisan)… recognition that our military presence is our ticket to the big game in the Asia Pacific.” (See entire interview here.)
There seems to be a growing consensus that the US military is the right tool for persuading China to cave in, but is it?
The last thing the Obama administration wants is a shooting war with China, mainly because China has the ability to strike back, and not just militarily either. Let me explain: According to political scientist Pang Zhongying, “The current relationship between China and the US is one that has never existed in the history of international relations…..The level of interdependence between China and the US is unprecedented in history. Before the 1970s, no one could possibly imagine or predict that these two countries would be interdependent to the extent of today. At that time, interdependence existed only between the US and Europe, or among the G7 at the most. The level of interdependence today did not exist between the US and China.”
In other words, the two countries need each other and are bound together in a complex web of economic and financial ties, including China’s massive holding of US debt which amounts to an eyewatering $1.3 trillion. This interdependence means that the US cannot abuse China in the same way it has Russia without putting itself at risk. So, while the US still maintains the dominant position economically and militarily, it can’t simply throw caution to the wind by imposing sanctions or escalating hostilities beyond a certain point without jeopardizing its own security. China knows this, which is why it will continue to pursue its own agenda aggressively while deflecting US belligerence and hostility as best as it can.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is still committed to “peaceful development”. US antagonism is just one of the many hurtles that China will have to overcome to actualize its plan for integrating the Eurasian landmass into the world’s largest and most prosperous trading bloc. Check out this excerpt from Alfred McCoy’s seminal piece “The Geopolitics of American Global Decline”:
“China’s leadership began collaborating with surrounding states on a massive project to integrate the country’s national rail network into a transcontinental grid. Starting in 2008, the Germans and Russians joined with the Chinese in launching the “Eurasian Land Bridge.” Two east-west routes, the old Trans-Siberian in the north and a new southern route along the ancient Silk Road through Kazakhstan are meant to bind all of Eurasia together….
In April, President Xi Jinping announced construction of that massive road-rail-pipeline corridor direct from western China to its new port at Gwadar, Pakistan, creating the logistics for future naval deployments in the energy-rich Arabian Sea….. By building the infrastructure for military bases in the South China and Arabian seas, Beijing is forging the future capacity to surgically and strategically impair U.S. military containment. …
In a decade or two….China will be ready to surgically slice through Washington’s continental encirclement at a few strategic points without having to confront the full global might of the U.S. military, potentially rendering the vast American armada of carriers, cruisers, drones, fighters, and submarines redundant….. If China succeeds in linking its rising industries to the vast natural resources of the Eurasian heartland, then quite possibly…. “the empire of the world would be in sight.” (“The Geopolitics of American Global Decline”, Alfred McCoy, The Unz Review)
There it is, eh? The end of one empire and the beginning of another.
China’s leaders aren’t going to blow their big chance by getting sucked into a costly and pointless war with the United States. That’s ridiculous. They’re going to keep plugging away until the Silk Road becomes a reality.
In a stunning blow to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in over 13 years. By curtailing Erdogan’s power, the results of the general election held last Sunday (June 7) are likely – at long last – to have some positive repercussions for the Greater Middle East.
Erdogan had hoped to obtain a two-thirds legislative supermajority, which would enable him to push through a new constitution that would create an executive presidency and make him de iure, as well asde facto, Turkey’s autocrat with sweeping powers which would have made the U.S. presidency look weak by comparison. His by now openly Islamist AKP, which has governed Turkey since February 2002, went along with his plan. In view of Erdogan’s victory in the presidential election less than a year ago with 52 percent of the vote in the first round, and the AKP’s ability to steadily increase its share of the vote in three consecutive elections, the party’s top brass initially assumed the AKP would be able to gain the 400 seats which Erdogan boldly promised at the beginning of the campaign. Some weeks later he lowered his expectations to 330 seats, the number necessary to hold a referendum on the constitutional amendment he wanted. In the final fortnight of the campaign he remained confident that the AKP would get at least 276 seats needed to form a single-party government for the fourth time.
Erdogan’s name was not on the ballot, but the election was widely perceived as a referendum on his proposed “Turkish-style presidency” – and he has overplayed his hand. Unprecedentedly high turnout of 86 percent included a significant number of former abstainees who were now motivated simply by the desire to stop Erdogan. After last Sunday’s fiasco, his overall power and even his authority in the AKP will no longer be absolute.
With 258 seats and 41 percent of the vote the AKP remains Turkey’s largest party by far, but it is now 18 mandates short of a simple majority in the 550-seat national assembly. In order to continue governing it has two options: to find a coalition partner among the three opposition parties which have crossed the (blatantly undemocratic) ten-percent threshold, or else to form a minority government with the tacit support of one of those three parties. If neither scenario works in the next 45 days, there will have to be a new election in three months’ time.
The secular-Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP) remains the second largest force in Turkish politics, with 25 percent of the vote and 132 seats. Its social-democratic agenda is supported mainly by the urban middle class and by pro-European liberals who regard Erdogan as a calamity that must be stopped. It is therefore unlikely to consider a coalition with the AKP, let alone to provide passive support for a minority government. CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu declared that the nation “stopped the rot” on Sunday, but also expressed his opposition to yet another election. He and his colleagues would like to form a broad coalition without the AKP, but the problem is that the other two opposition parties fundamentally disagree on several key issues at home and abroad.
Even less likely to help Erdogan and the AKP is the success story of this election, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which enters parliament for the first time with 80 seats and 13 percent of the vote. Its leader Selahattin Demirtas openly taunted Erdogan in his speech late on election night: “As of this hour, the debate about the presidency, the debate about dictatorship is over. Turkey averted a disaster at the brink. We prevented you from being the kind of president you wanted to be!” This mainly Kurdish party has successfully appealed to young Turks everywhere with its staunch opposition to AKP’s Islamist conservatism and with its advocacy of a radical social agenda which includes Western-style homosexual and women’s rights.
All this is anathema to the third opposition party, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – the home of the “Grey Wolves” of yore – which also has 80 seats, with just over 16 percent of the vote. It is opposed to practically everything the HDP stands for, Kurdish minority rights in particular. When the chips are down the Nationalist Movement Party is more likely to join an AKP-led coalition. Its price is likely to be Erdogan’s acceptance of a greatly curtailed presidential role, in accordance with the existing constitution, and his public commitment that he would not make another attempt to change the rules.
This may well be quietly welcomed by many AKP leaders who have grown weary Erdogan’s confrontational style and autocratic ways. Former president and party founder Abdullah Gul, who is known to resent Erdogan, may reenter the fray. There are many influential Turks of Islamist persuasion, within and without the AKP, who have not been adverse to the drift away from secularism at home and to the assertive pursuit of neo-Ottomanism abroad, but who believe that the power of “the Sultan” (as Erdogan is known among his friends and foes alike) needs to be curtailed. While they do not identify with the values and aspirations of the secular and liberal urban middle class which dominates the opposition, some religious conservatives will see the election result as an opportunity to persuade the “Sultan” that he needs to listen to the neglected pashas and viziers.
Erdogan was not the only reason for AKP’s poor showing. Turkey’s no longer growing economy and a weak lira have played a major role, as well as the government’s involvement in Syria, the growingmedia censorship, government corruption, and the typically Islamist disregard for the Kemalist legacy of women’s equality. Last but not least, Erdogan’s brazen involvement in the campaign process – in spite of the fact that the president of the republic is constitutionally required to remain politically neutral – may have cost cost the AKP a couple of percentage points.
Internationally, the election result and the ensuing weeks, perhaps months, of domestic political uncertainty will probably decrease Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, specifically its support for the hard-core jihadist Nusra Front. Most Turks, AKP supporters and Kemalists alike, are opposed to Erdogan’s support for the Syrian rebels and advocacy of foreign intervention, which is perceived as an “American,” rather than “Turkish” policy. If Turkey becomes less involved in Arab affairs in the period ahead, that will be good news for Syria’s beleaguered president Bashar al-Assad, the man who commands the only army in the field capable of opposing ISIS.
There was only an en passant reference to Syria at the end of my analysis of Erdogan’s defeat three days ago. This subject deserves closer scrutiny. His controversial policy vis-à-vis Damascus now appears to have been a major factor in his defeat, and Turkey’s likely fine-tuning of her posture in the months ahead may have major repercussions for the Greater Middle East.
Turkey’s three opposition parties, the social-democratic, neoKemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), the sternly nationalist Action Party (MHP), and the predominantly Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) may not have much in common on social, cultural, ethnic and religious issues, but they all agree that Erdogan was mistaken in entering the Syrian fray. He did so by arming Islamic militants fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, by quietly allowing thousands of foreign jihadists to cross from Turkey into Iraq and Syria, and by enabling the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Jabhat al-Nusra – a hard-line jihadist fighting force if there ever was one – to become major players in the conflict. Turkey’s assistance to the latter group is a matter of well documented record.
It is now apparent that the ruling AKP performed poorly, in contrast to its earlier showing, in all provinces bordering Syria. and especially among the millions of Kurds disenchanted with Turkey’s failure to help their Syrian brethern in Kobani. As a reliable news source has noted,
The change of power structure in Turkey came precisely at a time when the new Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey partnership is changing the balances in the field against Assad’s regime. The double-pronged strategy of the partnership sought to arm and expand the territory dominated in the northern front of Idlib and Hatay and the southern front of Daara, Quneitra, Suwayda and Damascus via Jordan. The Turkish prong of this strategy is now up in the air.
Erdogan had agreed with the recently enthroned Saudi King Salman to supply weapons and training to al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch of Jabhat al-Nusra and the affiliated Army of Conquest (Jaish al-Fateh), led by Ahrar al-Sha. These al-Qaeda affiliates are hard-core jihadists, of course, whose only claim to respectability (in the eyes of Washington’s “foreign policy community”) is the fact that they are anti-Bashar and not affiliated with ISIS. They are horrible people nevertheless, and designing them as “moderates” in the mainstream Western media simply serves the bipartisan neocon-neolib agenda of bringing down Assad – regardless of consequences for Syria’s Christians, for Syria itself, and for Israel’s vulnerable Golan frontier.
It is noteworthy that HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, speaking to CNN International, stated point blank that any coalition government would have to discontinue Turkey’s “support IS and other radical groups in the region.” Turkey’s eventual disengagement from Erdogan’s axis of evil with the worst purveyor of Islamic agenda in the world – Saudi Arabia – would be a long overdue ray of hope in the nightmarish Middle Eastern equation.
The Source and the Effect…
Power is a key element in the function of a culture. Its source and the way it is used or controlled determine success or failure.
I am not opposed to scientific advancement or to the comfort and efficiency mechanical and technical minds have provided to humanity. However, I am opposed to the deification of science and reason to the detriment of the peace and prosperity of the earth’s population.
We are born of woman but ultimately our physical bodies return to the earth as dust. We are tied to the earth for food and water and for the resources we use to create marvelous mechanical and technical devices. Seeds produce plants and plants sustain both human and animal life. Without food and water everything would die – humans, animals, plants, and insects.
Designed to rule the earth and all lower forms of life, we are equipped to find water, produce food and reproduce ourselves. Our minds are capable of creating a proper government over the creation. However, we have a defect that prevents us from properly administering dominion. Instead of accepting the reality that we are created beings made to live under the authority of our Creator we choose to use our godlike qualities in a quest for unaccountable individual control. We seek to be like God exerting unauthorized power over ourselves and others. This defect is the cause of murder, mayhem, and tyranny rather than justice and peace.
We arrived into a world already in existence and a society developed by previous tenants. Helpless at birth we were fed and nurtured into childhood and on until we are able to care for ourselves. Rather than being humbly thankful for the gift of life we often rebel against source of life and act as if we are beholden to nothing and our existence authorizes us to bring power over it all.
Because we have refused to live under the authority of our Creator, who is our legitimate sovereign, we have allowed power to flow to the state which has now become our sovereign and is accruing absolute power. We are unwilling to live under the rule of the One True God preferring the rule of our fellows whose evil dominion will begin to teach us the true nature of our fellow human beings.
Through several thousand years of human history the world population has been relatively small and our home on the earth was taken for granted. Now that the world population has grown exponentially we are beginning to be concerned about its ability to sustain us. We are even beginning to think we have outgrown our birthplace and must seek additional living quarters elsewhere in the universe.
The Industrial Revolution removed most of us from our land and employed us as cogs in the mass production of products that provide comfort and leisure. Instead of working to supply food for our families on our own land we sold our land and moved to cities where we traded the independence and pride of ownership for easier work and leisure.
We now work for money instead of food and are subject to the manipulation of the value of the money and the availability of work itself. Our destiny is in the hands of massive corporations that want to use us as units of production but do not want to know us or care about our welfare. Children, welcomed as assets in the agrarian society, are now liabilities and our culture is no longer producing babies in quantities that replace the dead putting its continued existence in jeopardy.
Under the auspices of science with no consideration for the ancillary results we have delved into subjects that may be outside our permissions. We are using our finite minds to tinker with the basic units of life hoping to affect the qualities of the embryo by modifying the DNA that controls it. Others of us are working at producing robots that can act as human beings by making independent decisions and carrying them out.
As demography warns us that we are in danger of becoming a minority population in a land we and our ancestors founded and developed we ignore the warning, fail to make adjustments, and continue to support small families, abortion, and same sex unions
We are created beings constructed for obedience and humility. Contrived, illogical theories of evolution provide the arrogance of autonomy and we begin to act like gods. All humility evaporates and we begin to fight for control over our fellow human beings. We, to whom life was a gift, who had nothing to do with our existence, seek to act as sovereign lords with the right to determine right and wrong and to live as kings in gifted space.
“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling. It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” (Prov. 16:18) American exceptionalism and national pride have run its course and a stumble is imminent.
Paul Craig Roberts points out that the boasting about winning WWII is not only impolite but totally wrong. Russia through tremendous sacrifice of lives and property defeated Germany and Eisenhower invaded Europe after the war had been won. Roberts claims the U. S. has not won a war since defeating the Japanese and that was more a technical achievement than a military victory. .
Pastor Chuck Baldwin says that America has been a captive nation for more than a Century; controlled by a cabal of foreign bankers whose identity cannot be verified. The Federal Reserve removed control of the nation from the people allowing bankers to control our government through manipulation of elections. No one can win an election to a Federal Government position without supporting neo-Israel. The neocons have gained enough power over policies to force the American people to finance their wars and their quest for world domination.
The United States of America is indeed a puppet nation inhabited by an insouciant people that are too lazy and gullible to discern reality and fight for righteousness. While our people have been busy with their jobs and the enjoyment of a hedonistic lifestyle the basic unit of civilization has been dismantled and replaced by unreasonable and unnatural arrangements ineptly described as families; two men are a family, two women are a family, a woman and a child are a family, and a man and a child are a family – an individual and a dog may soon qualify. The conventional family composed of a married man and woman with children has been arbitrarily dismantled by powerful individuals who seek to certify deviant lifestyles.
“America and the World” is a 2008 book containing an interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft moderated by David Ignatious. Brzezinski and Scowcroft have been long time advisers to U. S. presidents and other leaders. On page 242 Brzezinski made this statement. “The president (George W. Bush) said in his latest State of the Union message that the defining character of the Twenty-First Century is going to be the struggle against terrorism. This is an absurd statement – first of all it is 2008, so we still have 92 years to run. To define the essence of this century so early on is premature. What Brent and I are doing today is trying to grope our way towards a more complex and sophisticated definition of the challenges of the century, and to say how, in that context, an American national policy that combines power with principle Is the right response.”
Brzezinski and Scowcroft are globalists but they seem to cling to the old fashioned idea of adhering to principles. On the following page Scowcroft says the when he was in graduate school the bible for students of international politics was a book by Hans Morgenthau entitled “Politics Among Nations”. He describes the book this way: “international politics is a struggle for power and that power is the only thing that matters”.
In 2003 I wrote an article entitled “Judeo-Christian Decadence” (Read it here) it describes the education of many of the Bush II advisors who studied under University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss The Strauss philosophy lacked principles. It was Machiavellian, elitist, deceptive, and esoteric. Out of it came the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neocon document that recommended growing our armaments and sending our armed forces into the world to exert American hegemony. It was enthusiastically accepted by the Bush II Administration and has continued to exert heavy influence on our foreign policy. Read about it here. (Note that current presidential candidate Jeb Bush was one of the authors.)
Writing about the cabal that is controlling our world is a conjecture at best but it appears that the recommendations of men like Brzezinski and Scowcroft have lost their influence being replaced by the brutal power and shrewd deception of the neocon cabal.
PNAC was the guiding light of the George W. Bush Administration. It developed the War on Terror and the ruse that America was in danger from Middle Eastern Muslim nations. Brzezinski called the idea “absurd”.
When the true ruler of the universe is ignored and individual sovereignty begins to create chaos power begins to flow to government. When government becomes the sovereign the next step is a new world order. To some a world order is an advancement that would stop war and bring peace. To others it is considered a fulfillment of destiny for a superior group of people whose elite status entitles them to world hegemony. This group of neocons whose power came to the fore during the Bush II Administration is in the process of destroying the United States of America by using it in their quest for world tyranny.
The new power brokers are not bound by principle. Their conduct is both deceptive and cold blooded. It is characterized by massive propaganda, outright lies, deception, cruel retaliation, and the use of power over law. Their attempts to destroy the United States has had considerable success during the Twentieth Century and now that their hegemony is almost absolute they have accelerated their efforts during the decade and a half of the new era.
Efforts to bring the world order into existence peacefully using power and principle have been replaced by mass murder, lethal bombers, drones, and assassins. With the traitorous help of our own elected representatives they have engaged us in an endless war against a nebulous enemy called “Terrorists”. By propagandizing the lie that we are in danger they have used our armies to invade nations that could never be a threat to United States creating death and chaos among hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
Instituting unnecessary foreign wars and obligating the American people with massive debt without their approval can ultimately result in an aroused citizenry – even in an insouciant people. So the government has passed mountains of restrictive law that could remove all of our rights and bring on a grinding tyranny. . John Whitehead writes about it here.
Concentrations of power are dangerous. During the late Middle Ages an accumulation of power in the Catholic Church produced a gross distortion of the character of the God it claimed to represent. Murder, adultery, fornication, and conspiracy were evident in the hierarchy and cupidity resulted in a lucrative business in the sale of indulgences which not only distorted the essence of the Gospel but elevated an arrogant church into the sin of being like God. Human beings in control of the church were offering forgiveness of sin in exchange for money.
Absolute power results in similar travesties whether vested in kings, in governments, churches, or private homes. Those who exercise such power revert to the original sin of being like God. They claim dominion over life and death and demand that their edicts are carried out under the threat of death. The church had elevated itself into the wicked position of claiming its word was the Word of God. To defy the church was heresy and heresy was punished with death.
The position of the Catholic Church during the middle ages was similar to that of the United States government under President Barak Obama. Our government seeks to prosecute Edward Snowden for revealing to the people a criminal invasion of the privacy of its citizens in defiance to the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution, the law of the land. Just as the Catholic Church reserves the right to act as a god by forgiving sin, our government is claims the right to overrule our Constitution by blatant invasions of our privacy. When exposed, evil being done under the cover of darkness bites like a rattlesnake!
The reformation began by publishing the Bible in languages that the people could understand and using it to preach the gospel and to point to the errors of Rome. In that era many people were blest to receive Biblical truths and began to follow a Reformed Christianity.
The Bible was purposely kept from the people allowing the Catholic Church to become humanistic without accountability. It was access to the Bible that brought about the Reformation. Reformers claimed the Word of God should govern the world – the Catholic Church claims that since it collated and put together the Bible, it is subject to the Church allowing the church to tinker with the Word of God.. Protestant Reformers believed.l the church should be subject to God and His Law along with all else.
Attempts to reform flagrant errors in the Catholic Church – errors both human and theological – resulted in charges of heresy and sentences of death. There were similarities in the tyrannical governments of Stalin and Hitler. Tyranny is a humanistic evil that echoes the Biblical record of the sin of Adam. Instead of seeing themselves as created beings in need of the wisdom of the Creator men beguiled by the Devil see themselves as god and with the chaos and cruelty of Godlessness they produce murder and mayhem.
The Church refused to correct it errors and critics were burned at the stake. There is no Biblical support for Papal infallibility, for Baptismal conversion, for confessional forgiveness of sin, for worship and prayer to Mary or to any of the dead icons. The original church of Jesus Christ continues as a sizeable world force but it is secular, a supporter of the world order, and promoter of heretical, humanistic theology. Read here.
People who cling to sinful doctrines are often intellectually lazy and unwilling to join the perennial battle against evil by accepting the responsibility of supporting righteousness. It is easier to maintain the status quo even if it is evil.
Tyranny is the destiny of nations that are too lazy to fight on the side of righteousness.
As right becomes wrong and good becomes bad, as the social structure of our once peaceful and prosperous nation is destroyed, and strife is purposely created, as the press promotes animosity between races and denigrates the basic religion of our nation, as Hollywood desecrates morality and promotes violence, as our elected officials respond to illegitimate power and choose to believe the existence of ghostly dangers, as the generals who lead our armies accept fantasies and order them carried out, as laws are encoded that destroy our liberty and create a police state, as the legality of our Constitution is ignored, as we amass a debt that will enslave our children for generations, as our armies murder thousands of innocent civilians, as our churches become social clubs and fail to address immorality, as Satan dances gleefully in our nation’s capital our citizens go about their daily tasks as if nothing is amiss. That is what Paul Craig Roberts means by “insouciant”.
Hard times are coming. Death and destruction are hovering over us. We are a rogue nation that has created the ire of a large portion of the world and we will reap what we have sown. That is our destiny. Our people have had access to the truth for decades but have preferred their intractable ignorance to the truth that could have set them free. We have earned it, we deserve what is coming.
Absolute power is vested in God – legitimate human power is a derivative!
The Skirmish in the Spratlys…
“Washington is not looking for peace or war. They’re looking for domination. If they can achieve domination peacefully – that’s fine. If they can’t, they’ll use war. It’s that simple.”
— William Blum, Interview with Russia Today
“The U.S. is frantically surrounding China with military weapons, advanced aircraft, naval fleets and a multitude of military bases from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines through several nearby smaller Pacific islands to its new and enlarged base in Australia…. The U.S. naval fleet, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines patrol China’s nearby waters. Warplanes, surveillance planes, drones and spying satellites cover the skies, creating a symbolic darkness at noon.”
— Jack A. Smith, “Hegemony Games: USA vs. PRC”, CounterPunch
The vast build up of military assets in the Asia-Pacific signals a fundamental change in U.S. policy towards China. Washington no longer believes that China can be integrated into the existing US-led system. Recent actions taken by China– particularly the announcement that it planned to launch an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that would compete head-to-head with the World Bank and IMF— have set off alarms in the Capital where behind-the-scenes powerbrokers and think tank pundits agree that a more “robust” policy is needed to slow China’s ascendency. The current confrontation in the South China Sea–where the US has demanded that China immediately cease all land reclamation activities–indicates that the new policy has already been activated increasing the prospects of a conflagration between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.
There’s no need to go over the details of China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands since reasonable people can agree that Washington has no real interest in a few piles of sand heaped up on reefs 10,000 miles from the United States. The man-made islands pose no threat to US national security or to freedom of navigation. The Obama administration is merely using the Spratlys as a pretext to provoke, intimidate and harass Beijing. The Spratly’s provide a justification for escalation, for building an anti-China coalition among US allies in the region, for demonizing China in the media, for taking steps to disrupt China’s ambitious Silk Roads economic strategy, and for encircling China to the West with US warships that threaten China’s access to critical shipping lanes and vital energy supplies. This is the ultimate objective; to bring China to its knees and to force it to comply with Washington’s diktats. This is what Washington really wants.
In a recent speech at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that “there is no military solution to the South China Sea disputes.” Just moments later, and without a trace of irony, Carter rattled off a long list of military assets the Pentagon plans to deploy to the Asia-Pacific to shore up US offensive capability. The list includes “the latest Virginia-class [nuclear] submarines, the Navy’s P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft, the newest stealth destroyer, the Zumwalt, and brand-new carrier-based E-2D Hawkeye early-warning-and-control aircraft.” The Pentagon is also going to add “new unmanned systems for the air and sea, a new long-range bomber, (an) electromagnetic railgun, lasers, and new systems for space and cyberspace, including a few surprising ones.”
For someone who doesn’t believe in a military solution, Carter is certainly adding a lot of lethal hardware to his arsenal. The question is: Why? Is Washington preparing for war?
Probably not. The United States does not want a war with China. What Washington wants is to be the dominant player in this century’s most promising and prosperous market, Asia. But China’s meteoric growth has put Washington’s plan at risk, which is why Obama is wheeling out the heavy artillery. The anti-China coalition, the China-excluding trade agreements (TPP) and the unprecedented military build up are all aimed at preserving Washington’s dominant role without actually starting a war. The administration thinks that the show of force alone will precipitate a change in behavior. They think China will back down rather than face the awesome military power of the American empire. But will it? Here’s another clip from Carter’s speech at Shangri La:
The United States will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight – principles that have ensured security and prosperity in this region for decades. There should be no mistake: the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as U.S. forces do all around the world.
America, alongside its allies and partners in the regional architecture, will not be deterred from exercising these rights – the rights of all nations. After all, turning an underwater rock into an airfield simply does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit.
Who is Carter kidding? China poses no threat to freedom of navigation or overflight. The real threat is China’s participation in the $100 billion BRICS Development Bank which is set to finance some of the “largest projects of the modern history (including) the construction of new Eurasian infrastructure from Moscow to Vladivostok, in South China and India.” The so called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) “represent 56% of world economic output, and account for 85% of world population. They control about 70% of the world’s foreign exchange reserves. They grow annually by an average of 4% —5%.” (Sputnik News) In other words, US-backed institutions are going to lose their exalted role as “underwriter for the global economy” because the world’s biggest infrastructure projects are going to be funded by China and its allies. Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Washington where policy bigwigs are worried that US influence will gradually erode as global power inevitably shifts eastward.
US hegemony is also threatened by China’s Sino-centric economic policy which author Robert Berke sums up in an article on Oil Price.com titled “New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world…The ambitious vision is to resurrect the ancient Silk Road as a modern transit, trade, and economic corridor that runs from Shanghai to Berlin. The ‘Road’ will traverse China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, extending more than 8,000 miles, creating an economic zone that extends over one third the circumference of the earth.
The plan envisions building high-speed railroads, roads and highways, energy transmission and distributions networks, and fiber optic networks. Cities and ports along the route will be targeted for economic development.
An equally essential part of the plan is a sea-based “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR) component, as ambitious as its land-based project, linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. When completed, like the ancient Silk Road, it will connect three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa. The chain of infrastructure projects will create the world’s largest economic corridor, covering a population of 4.4 billion and an economic output of $21 trillion…
For the world at large, its decisions about the Road are nothing less than momentous. The massive project holds the potential for a new renaissance in commerce, industry, discovery, thought, invention, and culture that could well rival the original Silk Road. It is also becoming clearer by the day that geopolitical conflicts over the project could lead to a new cold war between East and West for dominance in Eurasia. The outcome is far from certain. (“New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever”, Robert Berke, Oil Price)
China is perfectly situated to take advantage of Asia’s explosive growth. They’ve paid their dues, built up their infrastructure and industrial capability, and now they’re in the catbird seat fully prepared to benefit from the fact that “Half of humanity will live in Asia by 2050″ and that “more than half of the global middle class and its accompanying consumption will come from that region.” US corporations will be welcome to compete in these new markets, but they won’t do nearly as well as businesses located in China. (This is why the Pentagon has been asked to intervene by powerful members of the corporate establishment.)
Washington’s gambit in the Spratly’s is an attempt to reverse the tide, derail China’s current trajectory and insert the US as the regional kingpin who writes the rules and picks the winners. As Sec-Def Carter said in an earlier speech at the McCain Institute in Arizona, “There are already more than 525 million middle class consumers in Asia, and there will be 3.2 billion in the region by 2030.” US corporations want the lion’s-share of those customers so they can peddle their widgets, goose their stock prices and pump up their quarterly profits. Carter’s job is to help them achieve that objective.
Another threat to US global rule is the aforementioned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The danger of the AIIB is not simply that it will fund many of the infrastructure projects that will be needed to integrate Europe, Asia and Africa into one giant free trade zone, but that the bank will replace key US-backed financial institutions (The IMF and World Bank) which have helped maintain Washington’s iron-grip on the global system. As that grip progressively loosens, there will be less need for cross-border transactions to be carried out in US dollars which, in turn, will threaten the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. As author Bart Gruzalski notes in his excellent article at Counterpunch, “China and Russia are creating alternatives that threaten the dollar’s status as the sole dominant international currency. By instituting trade alternatives to the dollar, they challenge the value of the dollar and so threaten the US economy.” (“An Economic Reason for the US vs. China Conflict”, Bart Gruzalski, CounterPunch)
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers offered a particularly bleak assessment of the AIIB flap in an editorial that appeared in April in the Washington Post. He said:
This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system. True, there have been any number of periods of frustration for the United States before and multiple times when U.S. behavior was hardly multilateralist, such as the 1971 Nixon shock ending the convertibility of the dollar into gold. But I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the United States to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out. (Washington Post)
Summers goes on to acknowledge the threat that political dysfunction (on Capitol Hill) poses to “the dollar’s primary role in the international system”. It’s clear that Summers grasps the gravity of what has unfolded and the challenge the AIIB poses to US hegemony. Readers should note that Summers ominous warnings were delivered just months before Washington dramatically revamped its China policy which suggests that the announcement of the AIIB was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Shortly after, the Obama administration made “crucial changes” to the existing policy. Containment and integration were replaced with the current policy of intimidation, incitement and confrontation. Beijing was elevated to Public Enemy Number 1, America’s primary strategic rival.
What happens next, should be fairly obvious to anyone who has followed US meddling in recent years. The US is now at war with China, which means that it will use all of its resources and capabilities, except it’s military assets, to defeat the enemy. The United States will not militarily engage an enemy that can fight back or inflict pain on the US. That’s the cardinal rule of US military policy. While that precludes a nuclear conflagration, it does not exclude a hyperbolic propaganda campaign demonizing China and its leaders in the media (Sadly, the comparisons to Hitler and the Kaiser have already started), asymmetrical attacks on Chinese markets and currency, excruciating economic sanctions, US-NGO funding for Chinese dissidents, foreign agents and fifth columnists, intrusions into China’s territorial waters and airspace, strategic denial of critical energy supplies, (80 percent of China’s oil supplies are delivered via the Malacca Strait to the South China Sea) and, finally, covert support for “moderate” jihadis who are committed to toppling the Chinese government and replacing it with an Islamic Caliphate. All of these means and proxies will be employed to defeat Beijing, to derail its ambitious Silk Roads strategy, to curtail its explosive growth, and to sabotage its plan to be the preeminent power in Asia.
Washington has thrown down the gauntlet in the South China Sea. If Beijing wants to preserve its independence and surpass the US as the world’s biggest economy, it’s going to have to meet the challenge, prepare for a long struggle, and beat Uncle Sam at his own game.
It won’t be easy, but it can be done.
Their precious young minds and our precious young minds…
She was a redheaded rebel, the singer in the family, a trash-talking, tattooed 21-year-old wrapped up in a hip-hop dream of becoming Holland’s Eminem. Then Betsy found Allah. After her sudden conversion to Islam last summer, Betsy began dressing in full Muslim robes. By January, the once-agnostic Dutch woman, raised in a home where the only sign of religion was a dusty Bible on a shelf, began defending homegrown terrorists. … Denis Cuspert, a German hip-hop artist known as Deso Dogg who converted in 2010 and later joined The Islamic State [ISIS], delivers a rap-like chant portraying the path to jihad as a chance for empowerment, spiritual fulfillment, vengeance and adventure. … ‘The door to jihad is standing there waiting for you,’ says a Swedish convert to Islam in a video. ‘It is the fastest way to paradise.’ (1)
Tales told many times in recent years, all over Europe, at times in the United States. Parents and authorities are deeply distressed and perplexed. How can young people raised in the West – the freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled West – join the Islamic State and support the public cutting off of the heads of breathing, living human beings? Each of us in our own way are lost souls searching for answers to the awful mysteries of life. But THIS? What life-quest does The Islamic State satisfy that our beloved West can’t satisfy? ISIS is unique in the world in making US foreign policy look good. The Defense Department and the State Department have special task forces studying the new enemy; the latter regularly puts out videos to counteract the many Islamic State videos.
I hope those researching the question look inwardly as well as at ISIS. How do young people raised in the West – the same West we know and love – coldly machine-gun to death more than a dozen Iraqis, men, women, children, reporters, absolutely in cold blood, in the video made famous by Chelsea Manning; but this of course is nothing compared to Fallujah with its two-headed babies, even three-headed, an eye in the middle of the forehead. The Islamic State has done nothing compared to what the United States did to the people of Fallujah. Can anyone name a horror in all of history more gruesome? Yes, there are some, but not many; and much of Fallujah was personally executed by nice, clean-cut, freedom-obsessed, democratic, peace-loving, humanitarian, fun-filled made-in America young men.
Here’s US Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, in his memoir, April 6, 2004, the time of Fallujah, in video teleconference with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly,” said Powell. “There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” Then Bush spoke: “At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone. At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out. Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. … There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!” (2)
“Years from now when America looks out on a democratic Middle East, growing in freedom and prosperity, Americans will speak of the battles like Fallujah with the same awe and reverence that we now give to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima” in World War II. – George W. Bush, 2006 (3)
Well, George, it’s either that or Fallujah was one of the key reasons for the rise of ISIS.
My point here is not that United States foreign policy is as barbaric and depraved as The Islamic State. It’s not. Most of the time. I simply hope to make it a bit easier to understand the enemy by seeing ourselves without the stars in our eyes. And I haven’t even mentioned what the United States has led the world in for over a century – torture.
The ever-fascinating and ever-revealing subject of ideology
Jeb Bush has gotten himself into trouble because, like all politicians running for office, he is unable to give simple honest answers to simple straightforward questions, for fear of offending one or another segment of the population. How refreshing it would be to have a politician say only what s/he actually believes, even if it’s as stupid as usual.
The brother of the previous president has been asked repeatedly: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” At first his answer was “yes”, then at times “I don’t know”, even “no” at least once, or he’s refused to answer at all. Clearly he’s been guessing about which reply would win him points with the most people, or which would lose him the least.
This caused a minor uproar, even among conservatives. Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham was moved to make a rare rational remark: “You can’t still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you.”
Such discussions always leave out a critical point. Why did millions of Americans, and even more millions abroad, march against the war in the fall of 2002 and early 2003, before it began? What did they know that the Bush brothers and countless other politicians didn’t know? It was clear to the protesters that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were habitual liars, that they couldn’t care less about the people of Iraq, that the defenseless people of that ancient civilization were going to be bombed to hell; most of the protesters knew something about the bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan; and they knew about napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, etc. Those who marched knew that the impending war was something a moral person could not support; and that it was totally illegal, a textbook case of a “war of aggression”; one didn’t have to be an expert in international law to know this.
Didn’t the Brothers Bush, Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war in the Senate), et al know about any of these things? Of course they did. They just didn’t care enough; supporting the empire’s domination and expansion was a given, and remains so; no US politician gets very far – certainly not to the White House – questioning the right of American Exceptionalism to impose itself upon humanity (for humanity’s sake of course).
Consider the darlings du jour of the American Left, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They very seldom speak out critically about US foreign policy or even the military budget. The anti-war/anti-imperialist segment of the American left need to put proper pressure on the two senators.
Mr. Sanders should also be asked why he routinely refers to himself as a “democratic socialist”. Why not just “socialist”? It’s likely a legacy of the Cold War. I think that he and other political figures who use the term are, consciously or unconsciously, trying to disassociate themselves from communism, the Soviet Union, Marxism, etc., all those things that are not good for you. (The word “socialist” once connoted furtive men with European accents, sinister facial hair, and bombs.)
It would be delightful to hear Sanders openly declare that he is simply a “socialist”. Socialism can be democratic; indeed, a lot more so than capitalism, particularly concerning the distribution of wealth and all the ramifications of that. Presented here are some relevant thoughts on these issues, from myself and others:
It’s only the socialists who maintain as a bedrock principle: People before Profit, which can serve as a very concise definition of socialism, an ideology anathema to the Right and libertarians, who fervently believe, against all evidence, in the rationality of a free market. I personally favor the idea of a centralized, planned economy. (Oh my God, a damn Commie!) Modern society is much too complex and technical to leave its operation in the hands of libertarians, communitarians, or anarchists seeking to return to a “community” or “village” level.
“Washington has always regarded democratic socialism as a greater challenge than totalitarian Communism, which was easy to vilify and made for a handy enemy. In the 1960s and ’70s, the favored tactic for dealing with the inconvenient popularity of economic nationalism and democratic socialism was to try to equate them with Stalinism, deliberately blurring the clear differences between the world views.” – Naomi Klein
“If it is true, as often said, that most socialist regimes turn out to be dictatorships, that is largely because a dictatorship is much harder to overthrow or subvert than a democracy.” – Jean Bricmont, Belgian author of “Humanitarian Imperialism” (2006)
Without a proclaimed socialist vision, radical change becomes too many different things for too many different individuals and groups.
“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.” – Martin Luther King
The United States is so fearful of the word “socialism” that it changed the “social sciences” to the “behavioral sciences”.
If for no other reason than to save the environment, the world needs to abandon the capitalist system. Every day, in every spot on earth, in a multitude of ways, corporations are faced with a choice: to optimize profits or to do what’s best for the planet.
The great majority of people in any society work for a salary. They don’t need to be motivated by the profit motive. It’s not in anyone’s genes. Virtually everybody, if given the choice, would prefer to work at jobs where the main motivations are to help others, improve the quality of life of society, and provide themselves with meaningful and satisfying work. It’s not natural to be primarily motivated by trying to win or steal “customers” from other people, no holds barred, survival of the fittest or the least honest.
And what about this thing called “democracy”, or “majority rule”? Many millions marched against the invasion of Iraq before it began. I don’t know of a single soul who marched in favor of it, although I’m sure there must have been someone somewhere. That lucky soul was the one they listened to.
Finally, the question being asked of Jeb Bush and others is not the best one. They’re asked: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” A more important question would be: “Knowing what we knew then, would you have authorized the invasion of Iraq?” And the answer should be “no”, because we knew that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction. This is very well documented, from diverse sources, international and Iraqi, including Saddam himself and his chief lieutenants.
The American Mainstream Media – A Classic Tale Of Propaganda
“When an American warplane accidentally struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign …”
These words appeared in the Washington Post on April 24, 2015 as part of a story about US drone warfare and how an American drone attack in Pakistan in January had accidentally killed two Western aid workers. The Post felt no need to document the Belgrade incident, or explain it any further. Almost anyone who follows international news halfway seriously knows about this famous “accident” of May 7, 1999. The only problem is that the story is pure propaganda.
Three people inside the Chinese embassy were killed and Washington apologized profusely to Beijing, blaming outdated maps among other problems. However, two well-documented and very convincing reports in The Observer of London in October and November of that year, based on NATO and US military and intelligence sources, revealed that the embassy had been purposely targeted after NATO discovered that it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. The Chinese were doing this after NATO planes had successfully silenced the Yugoslav government’s own transmitters. (5) The story of how the US mainstream media covered up the real story behind the embassy bombing is absolutely embarrassing. (6)
Over and above the military need, there may have been a political purpose served. China, then as now, was clearly the principal barrier to US hegemony in Asia, if not elsewhere. The bombing of the embassy was perhaps Washington’s charming way of telling Beijing that this is only a small sample of what can happen to you if you have any ideas of resisting or competing with the American juggernaut. Since an American bombing campaign over Belgrade was already being carried out, Washington was able to have a much better than usual “plausible denial” for the embassy bombing. The opportunity may have been irresistible to American leaders. The chance might never come again.
All of US/NATO’s other bombing “mistakes” in Yugoslavia were typically followed by their spokesman telling the world: “We regret the loss of life.” These same words were used by the IRA in Northern Ireland on a number of occasions over the years following one of their bombings which appeared to have struck the wrong target. But their actions were invariably called “terrorist”.
Undoubtedly, the US media will be writing of the “accidental” American bombing of the Chinese embassy as long as the empire exists and China does not become a member of NATO.
1) Washington Post, May 7, 2015
2) Ricardo Sanchez, Wiser in Battle: A Soldier’s Story (2008), pages 349-350
3) Associated Press, November 11, 2006
4) William Blum, America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy, pp. 61-2
5) The Observer (London), October 17, 1999 (“Nato bombed Chinese deliberately”), and November 28, 1999 (“Truth behind America’s raid on Belgrade”)
6) Extra! Update (magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting [FAIR], New York), December 1999; appeared first as solitary article October 22, 1999 (“U.S. Media Overlook Expose on Chinese Embassy Bombing”)
Volatility in the currency markets, bond markets, and stock markets likely has a lot of people on Wall Street feeling a bit worn out. Taking a summer vacation in the Hamptons might just be their best idea.
The coming months promise to be anything but quiet and predictable. Here are a couple of items that may yield profound implications for stock, bond and currency investors before summer ends…
The Threat of an Official Recession Is Looming
The next few months are critical for the U.S. economy. The official definition of recession calls for two successive quarters of negative GDP. First quarter GDP came in barely positive, initially estimated at 0.2%, but it will be revised twice before July. Some experts expect it will wind up in negative territory.
The U.S. trade deficit recently came in much larger than expected. The higher deficit will, setting other factors aside, translate to lower GDP. Investors will get a look at 2nd quarter GDP in late July and pessimism among forecasters is growing.
So far U.S. equity investors are hoping for the best, or at least hoping the Fed will reverse course on tightening. Stocks are shrugging off bad news and powering higher with price-to-earnings valuations climbing into the nosebleed section.
It is hard to imagine valuations at these levels holding if investors and high frequency trading algorithms must grapple with an official recession. Of course, should the Fed announce some new form of stimulus in response to bad news then all bets are off.
The End Is Nigh for Greece
The Greek government is running out of tricks to avoid a default. Last week, officials there paid €750 million Greece owed to the IMF by borrowing €650 from the IMF; a last resort gimmick they won’t be able to repeat.
Absent finding an agreement with lenders to modify loans and dramatically reduce what is owed, the Greeks will be in outright default as early as next month. This summer should tell the tale on Greece’s future within the European Union.
Should Greece default and exit the EU, it will be the first event of its kind, and it has the potential to open a Pandora’s Box. There will be bank failures within Greece and pain for anyone holding Greek debt. It could pave the way for bankruptcy and an exit in a number of other nations where finances are also in shambles. And no one can confidently predict the outcome in derivatives markets where banks and hedge funds have been making highly leveraged bets.
Should the Greeks manage to reach an accord with lenders, markets will have to contend with a different set of challenges. You can bet other overly indebted nations including Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy will aggressively pursue similar deals. The pain for bond holders isn’t likely to end with Greece.
The EU has a flood of bad debt swirling around its knees, but officials there continue to pretend they stand on solid ground. Regardless of whether Greece defaults outright or manages to cut a deal, it looks like the pretending will have to stop – and soon.
Are you ready for a “Long Hot Summer”? The prospects for urban riots are hyped as a breach of domestic security. The mass propaganda media does not waste a moment to ratchet up the tension and fear that torching neighborhoods will come to a community in your area. If people were able to apply critical thinking, they would realize that local incidents are being managed to increase and spread discontent nationwide. That asphalt jungle is paved with assault vehicles moving into place before your own eyes. The purpose is to manage disorder with the imposition of military tactics. As urban fires burn, advocates of an authoritarian police state implement their master plan for the final destruction of America.
The latest episode in the ghettofication of urban slums into an armed camp for interment is playing out in Baltimore. Lock down was used in Boston after the Marathon Race false flag experiment, now the time tested urban unrest brings back the LA Rodney King riots as an excuse for mob rule. Ah, yes, the pandering media never misses an opportunity to blame racism as the cause for a dysfunctional society, while ignoring the essential consequences of abandoning Posse Comitatus.
The unequivocal voice of straight talk, Brother Nathaniel explains that the Baltimore Riots…Prelude to Urban War. If this video analysis is too disturbing because “PC” purity prevents facing up to fact that the “Great Society” has turned the country into an urban war zone, no serious debate on the fallout of race baiting can occur.
Set aside the Rev. “tax cheat” Sharpton divide and extort maneuvers or the “Whorealdo” Rivera injection of his own self into the FAUX news story and confront the nature of the federalization of urbanized cities.
The always reliable and insightful John W. Whitehead writes an important viewpoint in Turning America into a Battlefield: A Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation.
“The problem arises when you start to add Jade Helm onto the list of other troubling developments that have taken place over the past 30 years or more: the expansion of the military industrial complex and its influence in Washington DC, the rampant surveillance, the corporate-funded elections and revolving door between lobbyists and elected officials, the militarized police, the loss of our freedoms, the injustice of the courts, the privatized prisons, the school lockdowns, the roadside strip searches, the military drills on domestic soil, the fusion centers and the simultaneous fusing of every branch of law enforcement (federal, state and local), the stockpiling of ammunition by various government agencies, the active shooter drills that are indistinguishable from actual crises, the economy flirting with near collapse, etc.
Suddenly, the overall picture seems that much more sinister. Clearly, as I point out in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, there’s a larger agenda at work here.
Seven years ago, the U.S. Army War College issued a report calling on the military to be prepared should they need to put down civil unrest within the country. Summarizing the report, investigative journalist Chris Hedges declared, “The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a ‘violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,’ which could be provoked by ‘unforeseen economic collapse,’ ‘purposeful domestic resistance,’ ‘pervasive public health emergencies’ or ‘loss of functioning political and legal order.’ The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’”
In order to understand the profound transmutation from “Peace Keeping”, to “Law Enforcement” and now into a militarized Martial Law environment, the focus and apprehension on the ultimate game plan needs to be the basis of any dialogue. One aspect that reveals the hands of the federal connection is citied In 2008 Obama Revealed His Plan for Law Enforcement… and Now He Has the Perfect Excuse, which illustrates the transformation of law enforcement into a military command structure under Homeland Security.
“Coupling that with the consistent pattern of Obama injecting the feds into incidents like the one involving Brown, Eric Garner and now Freddie Gray in Baltimore, it seems as if Obama and his DOJ have the perfect excuse to begin implementation of their national police program, which could lead to a devastating impediment of the rights of American citizens.
It may have taken Obama most of his presidency to act on his sinister intentions to nationalize major police forces in order to bolster his liberal agenda, but make no mistake about it — it’s here.”
Sober and critical observers admit that the real danger comes from the federalization of local police powers. While media distractions report on the Black Lives Matter Movement, the crucial question absent to the “so called” aggrieved community is why “On average, 1,876 black babies are aborted every day in the United States.”
Maturing beyond simple injection of propaganda is difficult for the diminished mental capacity of manipulated and confused residents. The outrage of thugs just does not rise to the same level of responsible citizens. While civil liberties extend to all people, not everyone has earned the respect of their fellow neighbors.
If folks want to better themselves, the first step is to perceive the nature of the deception that divides all people and should be our common cause for action.
The essay, Is the Federal Government Ready for War Against the American People?; sets the stage for the pertinent issue that should unite everyone.
“Hence, the tightening of the noose with fed up Americans sick and tired of being brutally victimized and betrayed by its crime cabal government that’s now out to kill us law abiding citizens using the excuse of martial law to go on the offensive to quell the very civil unrest that the federal government intentionally created and caused in the first place. Washington’s been not-so-covertly preparing for this day of reckoning ever since 9/11 to wage war against its own people. And through globalization what’s been tragically happening here in the US has also been taking place insidiously throughout the industrial world – in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel and most all of Europe. All these Western nations are controlled by the same oligarch globalists whose NWO agenda successfully fabricated and invented their war on terror in order to enact counterterrorism laws completely draconian in nature that effectively destroy our freedoms while enslaving us in the twenty-first century version of George Orwell’s totalitarian nightmare come true.”
The context of urban riots must be viewed from the perspective of the NWO global plan to herd the sheeple into metropolitan concentration camps. The intentional destruction of a black community has been successful. Other ethnic groups and people of all color will experience this same devastation because individuals refuse to confront that the “so called” benefits of the welfare society has dumbed down each person to the lowest level of the cumulative culture.
When the federal authorities dictate that the streets of urban America will look like a Fallujah war zone, don’t be surprised. It is deliberate. The New American reports in the article, Military and Police in Florida Practice Detaining Citizens.
“The “urban warfare” exercises had been announced earlier in the month without much fanfare by authorities and local media outlets. However, last week, a dramatic video of the dangerous drill, already viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, sparked widespread alarm about the true purpose of the exercises. A spokesman for the Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command cited in media reports downplayed the exercise as merely “routine” training for overseas missions. But more than a few critics say the Obama administration is actually up to no good — potentially even training to impose martial law and overt tyranny on the American people following some sort of crisis.”
With the direct involvement of the central military command, conditions foreshadow valid apprehension that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is ready for widespread rollout.
This trend goes unreported by the press because the narrative of race baiting is the official story that the establishment is ordered to publish. Diversion media is big business. Consolidation of state power is a step towards the eventual merger into a world government. Keeping a dependency population distracted from the core conspirators, who use the military-industrial-security complex as their enforcement arm, is the true story behind the Baltimore disturbance.
Unfortunately, the only script followed by gang members is to burn down their own neighborhoods. A half century of LBJ’s social welfare experiment, as a model for upward mobility, produced a plantation for all citizens. With the prospects of expanded martial law, The Psychotic Militarization of Law Enforcement has moved well beyond mere training exercises.
As the Home Land dictatorship tightens the noose on America, a sincere conversation about internal unrest must begin if there is any chance to reverse the lock down environment. More and direct military patrolling should never become normal. Wake up to the Global Gulag coming to a town you call home.
Several people have asked me recently why I always seem to be writing about the Middle East. “Why don’t you ever write about anything else?”
Of course I write about other stuff — but the Middle East is so much more interesting and entertaining than anything else! The Middle East is definitely more interesting, entertaining and even weirder than any soap opera, reality show or action flick that Hollywood could ever produce. Fascinating stuff.
I’m always amazed that so few other Americans aren’t just totally fascinated by the Middle East too. Or even that there isn’t at least one daytime soap opera devoted solely to the subject — if for no other reason than that the Middle East has some of the greatest villains of all time!
Take America, for instance. Our very own Wall Street and War Street are currently starring as top-billing major actors in the Middle East, playing in prime-time roles — as the biggest villains in the script so far too. America practically invented ISIS, for goodness sakes! You can’t get more villainous than that.
Or can you?
According to journalist Daniel Lazare, “After years of hemming and hawing, the Obama administration has finally come clean about its goals in Syria. In the battle to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, it is siding with Al Qaeda.” War Street, you’ve been busted as the Bad Guy — and on national television too!
Or take Saudi Arabia another shining example of epic villain-a-lishious-ness at its best. That country has been playing the villain since way back in 1930 — when it invaded the Republic of Yemen for the first time after Yemen actually dared to become a democracy. Then the Saudi regime went on to help America create Osama bin Ladin, finance the Taliban and dirty their hands with 9-11. And now the Saudi regime is financing and training ISIS. Doesn’t get more juicy than that.
No, wait, yes it does. The Saudi regime is now using American-supplied cluster bombs on Yemen. Juicy soap opera at its best, better even than TMZ — unless of course you are living in Yemen.
And then there is Syria. What is going on there right now is even better than “One Life to Live”. How many Americans even know who Bashar Assad is? The poor guy has a couple of corrupt, sleazy relatives that the Saudi, American, Turkish and Israeli regimes have spent the last four years trying to put into power. Why? Because power corrupts — so Assad’s relatives are already trained to be as corrupt as their sponsors. How “Dallas” can you get?
And of course Turkey is now in the mix too — just can’t keep its hands off of ISIS, the designated “fem fatale” in this reality show. But Turkey had better watch out. ISIS is a psychopath and Turkish citizens do not like President Erdogan cheating on them and messing around with her instead.
Or take Iraq — the ultimate reality show. Outwit, outlast and outplay. Plus all the principle soap opera characters are there in Iraq too. You got the lying bitch (mostly America), the BFF (mostly Britain and France), the scheming scoundrel who will stop at nothing to get rich (mostly Bibi Netanyahu) and the struggling anti-hero (mostly Syrians trying to chase ISIS out of Syria) trying to thwart the Bad Guys (mostly ISIS, but with ISIS’s secret suppliers Saudi Arabia, Israel, America and Turkey thrown in).
You just gotta love all that plotting, counter-plotting and backstabbing now taking place in the Middle East — such as when General Sisi in Egypt overthrew a democratically-elected government in order to be America’s date to the prom. Or when the Saudi Arabian regime, source of 9-11 and Osama bin Ladin, comes out smelling like a rose and being America’s BFF. Or not.
You want action and drama? No problem there either. The Middle East has it all! America, NATO, Britain and France get together and bomb the crap out of Libya (for her own good), put Al Qaeda in charge of Libya for even more raping and pillaging fun (she asked for it) — but then deserts fair Libya in her darkest hour of need. And even though Libya is not technically actually in the Middle East, you can still just sit back and watch the fun.
And ditto for Afghanistan. Lots of action, drama, lies and skullduggery there too — even though it also is not technically located in the Middle East.
And now apparently ISIS (that tramp!) is also off having a hot illicit affair with the American-sponsored neo-Nazi Ukraine regime, also not in the Middle East — but this new daytime drama may soon to be playing on European TV instead — as ISIS slips off to gay Paree after dumping her thug boyfriend in Kiev.
Plus who wouldn’t want to hear the exciting story about brave and heroic Palestinians fighting for their freedom — only to be called angry sluts by the American media. Or how the brave and heroic Yemenis, fighting for their freedom, get bombed back to the Stone Age by the despotic Saudis who still somehow manage to come out as the Good Guys — even after training and financing ISIS. How do they do that? How do they just keep getting away with that again and again? Will they ever get their comeuppance? Apparently not. But stay tuned.
And then there is the Israeli regime, staring as the “scheming patriarch” character, forcing America to do its dirty work so it can take over the Middle East. Bibi Netanyahu is like a Mafia don or the villain on “The Bold and the Beautiful” or “Dark Shadows” — always scheming behind the scenes. He’s like Angelique Bouchard or Sheila Carter. What’s not to love about him?
Why would anybody who loves soap operas and/or reality shows, action movies or even murder-mysteries and thrillers even think of ever not keeping up with events in the Middle East? Entertainment at its best!
Too bad, however, that more than a million lives have been lost so far in these productions — but, for Wall Street and War Street, that’s just one of the costs of being in show business.
Why are stocks still flying-high when the smart money has fled overseas and the US economy has ground to a halt?
According to Marketwatch:
“For the eighth week in a row, long-term mutual funds saw more money flowing out of U.S. stocks and into international stocks, according to the Investment Company Institute……For the week ended April 22, U.S. stocks saw $3.4 billion in net outflows from long-term mutual funds…For the year to date, net outflows for U.S. stocks are $13.79 billion, while inflows for international stocks are $41.12 billion.
Those figures, however, don’t count exchange-traded funds. In April alone, mutual funds and ETFs that focus on international stocks saw $31.8 billion in net inflows, while U.S.-focused funds and ETFs shed $15.4 billion, according to TrimTabs Investment Research.” (“Why U.S. stocks are near highs even as fund investors flee“, Marketwatch)
So if retail investors are moving their cash to Europe and Japan (to take advantage of QE), and the US economy is dead-in-the-water, (First Quarter GDP checked in at an abysmal 0.1 percent) then why are stocks still just two percent off their peak?
Answer: Stock buybacks.
The Fed’s uber-accommodative monetary policy has created an environment in which corporate bosses can borrow boatloads of money at historic low rates in the bond market which they then use to purchase their own company’s shares. When a company reduces the number of outstanding shares on the market, stock prices move higher which provides lavish rewards for both management and shareholders. Of course, goosing prices adds nothing to the company’s overall productivity or growth prospects, in fact, it undermines future earnings by adding more red ink to the balance sheet. But these “negatives” are never factored into the decision-making which focuses exclusively on short-term profits. Now get a load of this from Morgan Stanley via Zero Hedge:
“In 2014, the constituents of the S&P 500 on a net basis bought back ~$430Bn worth of common stock and spent a further ~$375Bn on dividend payouts. The total capital returned to shareholders was only slightly less than the annual earnings reported. On the fixed income front, the investment grade corporate bond market saw a record $577Bn of net issuance in 2014. While the equity and bond universes don’t overlap 100%, we think these numbers convey a simple yet important story. US corporations have essentially been issuing record levels of debt and using a significant chunk of their earnings and cash reserves to buy back record levels of common stock.” (“Buyback Bonanza, Margin Madness Behind US Equity Rally”, Zero Hedge)
So corporations are borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from investors through the bond market. They’re using this cheap capital to repurchase shares in order to boost skyrocketing executive compensation and to line the pockets of their shareholders. At the same time, they are weakening the capital structure of the company by loading on more debt. (It’s worth noting that “highly rated U.S. nonfinancial companies” are now more leveraged than they were in 2007 just before the crash.)
This madcap buyback binge has gotten so crazy, that buybacks actually exceeded profits in two quarters in 2014. Here’s the story from Bloomberg:
“Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index really love their shareholders….Money returned to stock owners exceeded profits in the first quarter and may again in the third. The proportion of cash flow used for repurchases has almost doubled over the last decade while it’s slipped for capital investments, according to Jonathan Glionna, head of U.S. equity strategy research at Barclays Plc.
Buybacks have helped fuel one of the strongest rallies of the past 50 years as stocks with the most repurchases gained more than 300 percent since March 2009.” (Bloomberg)
But maybe we’re being too pessimistic here. Maybe stocks would have risen anyway due to record high earnings and improvements in the economy. That’s possible, isn’t it?
Nope. Not according to Morgan Stanley at least. Check it out:
“Since 2012, more than 50% of EPS growth in the S&P 500 has been driven by buybacks and growth ex-buybacks has been a mere 3.3% annualized. (EPS: Earnings Per Share)
“More than 50% “! There’s your market summary in one damning sentence. No buybacks means no 5-year stock market rally. Period. If it wasn’t for financial engineering and the Fed’s easy money, stocks would be in the same general location as the real economy, circling the plughole, that is.
What’s so frustrating about the present phenom is that the Fed knows exactly what’s going on, but just looks the other way. So while the stock bubble gets bigger and bigger, CAPEX –which is investment in future productivity and growth– continues to deteriorate, GDP drops to zero, and demand gets progressively weaker. Shouldn’t that warrant a rethinking of the policy?
Heck, no. The Fed is determined to stick with the same lame policy until hell freezes over. Whether it works or not is entirely irrelevant.
Now take a look at this eye-popper from Wolf Street: “GE, in order to paper over a net loss of $13.6 billion and declining revenues in the first quarter, said on April 10 that it would buy back $50 billion of its own shares.” (Wolf Street)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read similar stories in the last couple years. The company’s revenues are shrinking, they’re losing money hand over fist, and what do they do?
They announce they’re going to buy back $50 billion of their own shares.
What a joke. And it doesn’t stop there. The Fed’s policies have also ignited a flurry of activity in margin borrowing. This is from CNBC:
“NYSE margin debt rose to an all-time high in March, according to recently released data from the stock exchange….NYSE margin debt sat at $476.4 billion, up from $464.9 billion at the end of February..(Note: That’s $95 billion more than 2007 at the peak of the bubble.)
Margin debt is created when investors borrow money in order to buy stocks. If an investor buys $100 worth of stocks with $50 in capital, that individual has $50 of margin debt outstanding. Since margin debt provides leverage, it amplifies gains, but also increases the risk to an investor.” (“What record-high margin debt means for stocks”, CNBC)
More borrowing, more risk taking, more financial instability. And it’s all the Fed’s doing. If rates were neutral, then prices would normalize and CEOs would not be engaged in this reckless game of Russian roulette. Instead, it’s caution to the wind; just keep piling on the debt until the whole market comes crashing down in a heap like it did six years ago. And that’s the trajectory we’re on today, in fact, according to TrimTabs Investment Research, February saw buybacks in the amount of $104 billion, ” the largest monthly figure since these flows were first tracked 20 years ago. ”
So things are getting worse not better. Bottom line: The Fed has led the country to the cliff-edge once again where the slightest uptick in interest rates is going to send the economy into freefall.
But why? Why does the Fed keep steering the country from one financial catastrophe to the next?
That’s a question that economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi answer persuasively with one small chart. Check it out:
“Here is the distribution of financial asset holdings across the wealth distribution. This is from the 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances:
The top 20% of the wealth distribution holds over 85% of the financial assets in the economy. So it is clear that the direct income from capital goes to the wealthiest American households.” (Capital Ownership and Inequality, House of Debt)
Why does the Fed create one bubble after the other?
Now you know.
“The sand beneath our feet is saturate with blood of martyrs; and these rifted stones are awful witnesses against a people whose pleasure was the pain of dying men.” Cavalieri, in “Michael Angelo: A Fragment”, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is coming up and regardless of the result Mayweather will be millions of dollars richer than he is today. Tickets printed at prices of $1,500 to $7,500 and are being scalped in the six figure range. Mayweather recently voiced a typical Black attitude when he complained that his current net worth of $275 million would be in the billions if he was White. Read here. It is very difficult to please people who are void of gratitude.
America’s Black population has been primed for resentment for the past several decades. Slavery has been publicized with the same vigor as the Holocaust and has been used to indict succeeding generations for prejudices and actions they neither harbor nor approve.
Invariably missing in the racial dialogue is the inordinate statistical difference in the Black crime rate which is about 7 times higher than the White population. The American press never publishes the correct figures instead it presents the public with a destructive distortion.
For every Black killed by a White person 18 Whites are killed by Blacks. When the Black crime rate Is adjusted for population the figure 7 times higher rises to an astounding 50 times higher. Read here.
The Neocon owners of the American press and media seem devoted to inciting Black citizens to riot. See current unrest in Baltimore here. Their coverage is not only biased but blatantly fosters a view of the Black condition that is false. Pat Buchanan writes, “We are now half a century on from the Civil Rights Act of 1964. African Americans have risen out of poverty and the working class to become successes as actors, artists, athletes, executives, politicians, TV anchors, journalists, scholars, generals, authors, etc.”
In spite of the tyrannical legislation that mandated Black equality the Black race has steadily progressed. The progress is never recognized because the press and Black leaders falsely create the impression that prejudice is keeping then from realizing success.
Sadly, a larger portion of American Blacks remain convinced that the White population is their enemy. Instead of gratitude they harbor a feeling that killing or stealing from a White person is a badge of honor. As long as their leaders and the powerful American press cultivate this attitude peace will be impossible.
Society views Jewish Americans and Black Americans sympathetically as oppressed and suffering races – the Jews from the Holocaust and the Blacks from Slavery. Both of these archaic tragedies have been used to create sacrosanctity. This eminence makes honest discourse impossible and allows racial problems to fester. That this attitude has been created with ulterior motives by our press and media and power hungry Black and Jewish leaders does not alter reality. The hatred for American society is very real.
Blacks and Jews are pragmatic and they use their power despitefully against a system that has been their benefactor. Until truth begins to permeate the current scene personal threats and riots will be used to further bleed a benevolent system.
As America continues to digest the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and the current riots in Baltimore it is interesting to note that our nation has a history of violent behavior that goes back to the founding era!
In the mid-Seventeenth Century before the America Revolution, Britain claimed ownership of the colonies and the right to levy taxes ostensibly to cover the cost of protecting the colonies.
The right to tax was upheld by most of the members of Parliament and by some colonial leaders; but to the citizens, who had created civilization in the New World, taxation without representation was anathema.
There were strong feelings involved in this conflict. Colonial citizens wanted and thought they deserved some independence while in Britain the Parliament was affronted that their dominion was being challenged.
With help from a stirring oratory by young Patrick Henry an angry resistance developed against a British tax called the Stamp Act. Though the potential taxes collected under the act would probably have been insignificant the act of levying this tax created suspicions of tyranny that aroused freedom-loving citizens. British troops had been left in the colonies following the Seven Year War . and the presence of these troops contributed to as barrage of conspiracy theories that swept through the colonies.
According to Robert Middlekauff’s book “The Glorious Cause” fighting between factions in Massachusetts had already been vicious before the passage of the Stamp Act; “clubs, bricks, stones, and fists” were instruments of warfare. The new affront to their freedom solidified these mobs against the common enemy and put British agents in the colonies in danger. Andrew Oliver supposedly appointed as a Distributor of Stamps in Massachusetts was one of these men.
It was rumored that Oliver stood to profit from the Stamp Act this incensed the mob which created an image of Oliver and beheaded it in front of his house. They burned the beheaded image and proceeded to break all of the windows in the house. There was a call to find Oliver and kill him. They searched his house but he had already fled. Frustrated, they broke up his furniture. It turned out that Oliver’s appointment had not yet arrived from Britain and he promised to resign as soon as it did.
A few day later another British agent, Thomas Hutchinson, came under the ire of the mob. He was related to Oliver and was considered brave and proud. His house was big and luxurious. Seeking to humble him the mob patiently destroyed his beautiful home. Middlekauff writes, “Virtually everything moveable within was destroyed or stolen – papers, plate, furniture, clothing, and sterling – and what could not be moved – walls, partitions, and roof – were severely battered. The handsome cupola was cut off, a demolition that took three hours, and much of the slate roof was pulled down.” The wrecking crew worked until dawn and when they were finished a part of the roof and several brick walls were all that survived.
United States of America was founded by immigrants coming from tyrannical regimes in Europe. They found freedom in the new world. Freedom was the object of the great sacrifice necessary to travel to the new world. It was the ultimate jewel. The loss of freedom was fresh in the minds of these hardy people and when any sign of superiority reared its ugly head they were quick to react in violence.
Though the government was often dishonest with the Indian population it was the citizens themselves who often defied the proscribed borders and settled land that was designated for the Indians.
Policemen played a minor role in Colonial culture. This, coupled with an action oriented populace allowed frequent rioting. In his book “Rioting in America” Paul Gilje records a litany of colonial riots.
In 1677 a group of fishermen in Marblehead, Massachusetts captured two Indians they planned to barter for property the tribe had stolen from them while they fished off the shores of Maine. When they brought the Indians into Marblehead Indian hating housewives stoned them to death and cut off their heads.
War and violent behavior has been common to every civilization. When opposing perspectives meet each finds truth and justice in their view. Humanistic atheism has a perspective that conflicts with Theonomic Christianity. This battle is currently raging in the world
Human beings are maligned by sin. Sin causes us to make improper decisions and to react with anger when our ideas and plans are challenged. We really do not want to obey God, instead we want to be God and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Sin is ubiquitous; it can be seen in Christians as well as pagans. Sin leads to the creation of opposing religions and plants the seed for war and strife.
Our hope is in the progress of Christianity in the world; more and more people must view the world from a Christian perspective. When God brings in His harvest and Christians begin to obey Him by making His Law the basis for civil behavior the world will have a chance at peace. There are encouraging signs in China where a Christian revival is challenging the Communist government. Read here.
As the Twenty-First Century progresses the White population of the United States of America is surprisingly placid. Violence seems to be the domain of American imperialism, of Blacks, and of the nation’s local police forces.
War has resulted in a serious potential loss of freedom but neither the loss of freedom nor the wars have had much effect on our way of life. While are military forces are killing thousands of civilians, destroying property, and creating chaos in the Middle East, life at home goes on with little notice.
Both the Black and the White population suffer from the absolute authority now vested in our police. It is more noticeable in Black communities because crime is more common. Blacks protest but Whites remain silent. Black citizens are a danger to White Americans and most are willing to put up with police despots for protection.
From being keepers of the peace policemen have become unequivocal enforcers of the law. They are no longer responsible for using reasonable judgment. A mere traffic violation can escalate into an arrest and even a death. Innocent civilians are unnecessarily ordered about by policemen and charged with crimes if they disobey. This kind of arrogance produces resentment.
Our problem with police officers comes from the basic rules that govern their behavior. In another era they were called peace officers and were vested with the responsibility of maintaining a just and peaceful society. Today they are law enforcement officers vested with the responsibility of enforcing the law. The difference is quite substantial: enforcement has a strong arm connotation while peace is conciliatory.
In the presence of a police officer citizens have no rights. They are the consummate dictators whose every word must be immediately obeyed. Failure to obey results in arrest and handcuffs. This attitude comes from their leadership. The police are taught to demand acquiescence.
It is no longer the duty of police to protect citizens; their duty is to arrest law breakers. This is the reason savvy lawyers advise us to call the police only under the most dire conditions.
Suicide by police has become a recognized procedure. Police will shoot first and ask questions later. Point a gun at a policeman and you will be killed in a hail of bullets.
When policemen enter your home they may make a note of a theft or a burglary but they will also arrest you if they find any breach of current legal standards and since they know more about the law than most citizens you are at a disadvantage.
Policemen are paid to be public servants and it is time they are taught to respect innocent civilians. Convicted criminals have lost their right to be free but innocent civilians have not; Black or White, they should be treated with respect even when minor violations are involved.
They are public servants they are not dictators. Even though we have so many laws there can be reason to arrest almost anyone, the general public should always be treated with respect. Necessary instructions should be obeyed but requests should be courteous and reasonable.
If law and order is ever to return to our society the police must regain the respect of the general public.
Saudi Arabia has been dominating the Middle Eastern news recently. Its bombing of the Shia Houthis in Yemen, supported by Washington, and its ambivalent stand on ISIS, concealed in Washington, should raise questions about the nature and long-term ambitions of the desert kingdom. On those key issues there is an apparent conspiracy of silence in the American mainstream media and the policy-making community.
Saudi Arabia, the most authentically Muslim country in the world, is a polity based on a set of religious, legal, and political assumptions rooted in mainstream Sunni Islam. To understand its pernicious role in the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, and to grasp the magnitude of its ongoing threat to America’s long-term strategic interests and security, we should start with the early history of that strange and unpleasant place.
MUHAMMAD IBN ABD AL-WAHHAB was born in central Arabia over three centuries ago, but his legacy is alive and well. Wahhab was a zealous Muslim revivalist who lived in the period of the Ottoman Empire’s early decline. He felt that Islam in general, and Arabia in particular, needed to be spiritually and literally re-purified and returned to the true tenets of the faith. Like Islam’s prophet he married a wealthy woman much older than himself, whose inheritance enabled him to engage in theological and political pursuits. His Sharia training, combined with a brief encounter with suffism – which he rejected – produced a powerful mix. From the suffis he took the concept of a fraternal religious order, but rejected initiation rituals and music in any form. He also condemned the decorations of mosques, however non-representational, and sinful frivolities such as smoking tobacco. This Muslim anabaptist rejected veneration of saints and sites and objects connected with them, and gave rise to a movement that sees itself as the guardian of true Islamic values. His ideas were espoused in the Book of Unity which gave rise to the name of the movement, al-Muwahhidun, or Unitarians.
By the middle of the 18th century Wahhab, like Muhammad eleven centuries earlier, found a politically powerful backer for his cause. In 1744 he struck a partnership with Muhammad ibn-Saud, leader of a powerful clan in central Arabia, and moved to his “capital,” the semi-nomadic settlement of ad-Dir’yah (Riyadh). Since that time the fortunes of the Wahhabis and the Ibn Said family have been intertwined. Under ibn-Saud’s successor Abdul-Aziz, the Wahhabis struck out of their desert base at Najd with the fury unseen in a millennium. In what looked for a while like the repetition of Muhammad’s and the Four Caliphs’ phenomenal early success a millennium earlier, they temporarily captured Mecca and Medina, marched into Mesopotamia – forcing the Ottoman governor to negotiate humiliating terms – and invaded Syria.
This was an unacceptable challenge to the Sultan, the heir to the caliphate and “protector of the holy places.” In 1811 he obtained the agreement of Ali Pasha, Egypt’s de facto autonomous ruler following Napoleon’s withdrawal, to launch a campaign against the Wahhabis. After seven years they were routed. Later in the century, however, the sect revived under Faysal to provide the focus of Arab resistance to the Ottoman Empire, which they considered degenerate and corrupt.
In 1902 a daring and bellicose prince of the ibn-Saud family, named after Abdul-Aziz “the warrior,” returned from exile with 40 horsemen and took control of Riyadh. He exploited the terminal weakness of the Ottoman Empire, soon to be embroiled in revolution and beset by external threats to its crumbling empire in the Balkans and Libya. Fired by the spirit of Wahhabism, Abdul Aziz embarked on a campaign to recover control over the whole of Arabia. In 1912 the Wahhabi revival prompted the founding of a religious settlement at Artawiyah, 300 miles north of Riyadh, under the auspices of theIkhwan, the Brotherhood. This was a stern Arabian variety of Plymouth, a Muslim New Jerusalem in which people were dragged from their homes and whipped for failing to attend Friday prayers.
IN THE CHAOTIC YEARS after the demise of the Ottoman Empire the Ikhwan proved to be an able and fanatical fighting force, securing victory for Ibn Saud, their leader and the founder of the present royal dynasty. In 1925 they carried out Ibn Saud’s order that all revered burial sites in Mecca and Medina be destroyed, including the “heavenly orchard” in Medina, where relatives and many early companions of Muhammad were buried. In 1926 they proclaimed Abdul-Aziz the King of Hejaz. Within a decade he had united the rest of Arabia and imposed the Wahhabist view of the world, man, law, and Allah, on most of the peninsula.
It is incorrect to say that the Wahhabi movement is to Islam what Puritanism is to Christianity, however. While Puritans could be regarded as Christianity’s Islamicists sui generis with their desire to turn Christianity into a druly scriptural, literalist theocracy, Wahhabism is unmistakably “mainstream” in its demand for the return to the original glory of the early Islamic Ummah. Their iconoclastic zeal notwithstanding, the Wahhabis were no more extreme or violent than the models for Islam – the “prophet” and his companions – have been in all ages and to this day.
THE HEIRS OF ABDUL WAHHAB are still heading the Saudi religious establishment. They resisted the introduction of “heathen” contraptions such as radio, cars, and television, and relented only when the King promised to use those suspect mediums to promote the faith. They stopped the importation of all alcohol, previously sold to foreigners (1952), and banned women driving motor vehicles (1957). The Kuran and Sunna are formally the country’s constitution and the source of its legal code. The original sources of Islamic orthodoxy – the Kuran and Hadith – provide ample and detailed evidence that Saudi Arabia is as close as we can get to an Islamic state and society. The State Department report on human rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia published 15 years ago offers an accurate glimpse of that vision in action:
Freedom of religion does not exist. Islam is the official religion and all citizens must be Muslims. Neither the Government nor society in general accepts the concepts of separation of religion and state, and such separation does not exist. Under Shari’a conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. Public apostasy is a crime punishable by death -if the accused does not recant. Islamic religious education is mandatory in public schools at all levels. All children receive religious instruction… Citizens do not have the right to change their government. The Council of Senior Islamic Scholars… reviews the Government’s public policies for compliance with Shari’a. The Government [views] Islamic law as the only necessary guide to protect human rights. There is legal and systemic discrimination based on sex and religion.
Nothing has changed since: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic regime in the world. While the Saudis continue to build mosques all over the world, tens of thousands of Christians among the millions of foreign workers from Asia, Europe and America must worship in secret, if at all. They are arrested, lashed or deported for public display of their beliefs. The Saudi religious police, known as the Committee to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, continues to routinely intimidate, abuse, and detain citizens and foreigners. In 2002 they pushed girls escaping from burning school buildings back into the inferno and certain death because they did not have their heads properly covered. Its detainees are routinely subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation and torture. Punishments include flogging, amputation, and public execution by beheading, stoning, or firing squad – over 50 were performed so far this year.
Women are second class citizens: according to the CIA world factbook, 82.2% of females are literate, in comparison to 90.8% literacy rates in males. The testimony of one man equals that of two women, and female parties to court proceedings must deputize male relatives to speak on their behalf. Women are not admitted to a hospital for medical treatment (often for wounds resulting from domestic violence) without the consent of a male relative. In public a woman is expected to wear an abaya (a black garment that covers the entire body) and to cover her head and face. Daughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers. Women must demonstrate Sharia-specified grounds for divorce, but men may divorce them without giving any cause. In addition women must not drive cars, must not be driven except by an employee, or husband, or a close relative, and even then must not occupy the front seat. Women may study abroad if accompanied by a spouse or an immediate male relative. Women may own a businesses, but they must deputize a male relative to represent it.
Political detainees commonly are held incommunicado in special prisons during the initial phase of an investigation, which may last weeks or months, without access to lawyers. Defendants usually appear without an attorney before a judge, who determines guilt or innocence in accordance with Shari’a standards. Most trials are closed, and crimes against Muslims receive harsher penalties than those against non-Muslims. A sentence may be changed at any stage of review, except for punishments stipulated by the Koran.
The only expanding industry in Saudi Arabia is that of Islamic obscurantism. Some examples are grotesque: in 1966 the Vice-President of the Islamic University of Medina complained that Copernican theory was being taught at Riyadh University; it has been banned ever since. Three hundred years after the Christian theologians had to concede that the Earth went around the Sun, the geocentric theory was reaffirmed in the centers of Saudi learning. Segregation of the sexes at schools is set at age nine, which is the age for girls to start to wear the veil.
The opinions of the ullema are the only internal check and balance on the ruling family. Five Saudi Islamic universities produce thousands of clerics, many more than will ever be hired to work in the country’s mosques. Thousands end up spreading and promoting Wahhabism abroad. The King of the Saudis remains their Imam. He and the Wahhabi religious establishment see it as their sacred duty and purpose to evangelize the world. The petro-dollar windfall has paid for the construction of some ten thousand mosques and “Islamic centers” in the United States and other parts of the world. All along, needless to say, no churches (let alone synagogues) can be built in Saudi Arabia, and all non-Muslim religious practice is strictly forbidden.
Once upon a time, the famous criminal Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, and his response was simple, eloquent, and humorous: “Because that’s where the money is.” Well, soon that adage may be proven untrue. What exactly is the meaning of legal tender? In order to place money in its proper perspective, examine what the U.S. Treasury says.
“The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” which states: “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”
Now one might reasonably expect that conducting cash transactions would be guaranteed by the full weight and protection of the Federal Government. Such an assumption would be false, since the Banksters operate as a power beyond the law. The Zero Hedge report in Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash, reveals a frightening trend.
“The war on cash is escalating. Just a week ago, the infamous Willem Buiter, along with Ken Rogoff, voiced their support for a restriction (or ban altogether) on the use of cash (something that was already been implemented in Louisiana in 2011 for used goods). Today, as Mises’ Jo Salerno reports, the war has acquired a powerful new ally in Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., which has enacted a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets; bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and disallows the storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes.”
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from such an anti-cash sentiment. Your property is no longer your own. This fundamental attack on the value of money should erupt in national outrage. However, a key reason why people continue in their daze is provided in the following stats. 75 Percent Of Americans Don’t Have Enough Savings To Cover Their Bills For Six Months: Survey. If folks don’t have any significant savings, accepting further restrictions on cash just does not seem that important to them.
Such a response guarantees even further risks that the public cannot avoid. And this condition is not confined just to the United States.
The Mises Institute European cites examples of The International War on Cash, in their extensive archives. Accompanying these cases is a report that The ‘War On Cash’ Migrates To Switzerland. In addition, review The War on Cash Special Report, which provides several references on the assault to ban and eliminate cash. Lastly, The “War on Cash” in 10 Spine-Chilling Quotes provides an inclusive overview of the anti cash sentiment that is building among establishment authoritarians.
All these illustrations forecast a coming disaster. Calling in the Federal Reserve notes and replacing the last vestige of a U.S. Dollar with some new accounting medium of exchange would surely incur a diminished purchasing value, when a swap takes place.
Consumers are so conditioned to the rapid change in color and design of the “Green Back” that substituting a new currency will hardly turn into a national scandal. A run at banks to withdraw the merger sums in personal accounts will be met with the preverbal distain that money center banks are so good at dispensing.
This is the ultimate dilemma, between a rock and a hard place. One can already imagine the public comments from Treasury. Maybe bring back Hank Paulson for his public relation skills might just be the last straw for savers, but for the dependency class, few will even change the channel from their favorite “Reality TV” episode.
“Going to the Mattresses” when your lock box is sealed by your banker is a very poor option for the average consumer. Security in a paper currency that can be recalled and pegged lower by government policy is dangerous.
As for precious metals, who among us would not reasonably conclude that hoarders will risk the criminalization of their preparedness. Electronic money such as Bitcoins could and probably will be shut down as a method to establish a counterfeit money scheme.
Remember that the legal tender laws can and will define what medium of exchange will constitute money under a fiat paper meltdown.
There is no pure play of secure means to provide peace of mind. Those who propose putting all your chickens in one basket have not taken measures to protect against a “bird flu money” pandemic.
Now is the time to place pressure on the entire banking system to demonstrate a modicum of social and economic responsibility to the customers and communities they are suppose to serve.
Defending the too big to fail money center institutions with a zero interest rate flow of credit inevitably results in a climate of eliminating cash as an alternative to earning a negative rate deposit policy.
Banksters continue to operate their debt credit scam with virtual immunity. A historic financial storm is building. It will soon surpass the 2008 meltdown by an unimaginable degree.
Those who believe personal debt will be ignored or forgiven, do not understand the nature of the financial plutocrats. Their control of political power is intact. Little suggests that this will change unless the nation revolts.
The shortcomings of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements, while valuable in raising public awareness, never solidified into a national crusade against the international banksters.
In order to grasp the opportunity, when a system wide collapse occurs, people need to get their own house in order. Do not be part of the cashless society, because that course directly enables the monitoring, intimidation and control of your ability to survive.
Boycott the mega banks and seek local and community friendly financial franchises. The war on cash must be fought before the only money available will only buy approved items at the government company store. Act now with urgency.
“It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.” This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.” -Micah Zenko, Putting Iran’s Nuclear Program in Context, Council on Foreign Relations
It always helps to start with the truth, and in Iran’s case, the truth is quite simple. Iran has no nuclear weapons, it has no nuclear weapons program, and it’s never been caught diverting nuclear fuel for other purposes. Iran has pursued nuclear technology for peaceful purposes alone.
These are the facts. They may not jibe with the lies propagated in the western media, but they are the facts all the same. Iran is not guilty of anything. It’s merely a victim of Washington’s power-crazy attempt to control vital resources in the Middle East and enhance Israel’s regional hegemony. That’s what’s really going on. It’s all geopolitics. It has nothing to do with nukes.
Media coverage of the so called nuclear negotiations in Laussanne and now in Vienna has focused maniacally on the number of centrifuges, IAEA monitoring programs, uranium enrichment capability, and myriad other arcane topics that are meant to divert attention from the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and no interest in developing one. By poring over the details of these issues in excruciating detail, the reader is left feeling that Iran must be hiding something and therefore must pose a real threat to US national security. But of course that’s precisely what the authors of these articles hope to achieve, they want to pull the wool over the public’s eyes and get people to believe something that is transparently false.. The fact is, Iran is not doing anything underhanded or illegal. They are merely demanding that their right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of the NPT be respected. Iran will not allow itself to be bullied by the US or treated like a second class citizen. Iran has behaved honorably from the beginning, which is a helluva a lot more than can be said of the US.
The media doesn’t want to discuss the “additional protocols” that Iran accepted in order to build confidence among members on the United Nations, because then people would realize that Iran has gone the extra mile many times in the past only to be slapped with more spurious accusations of noncompliance or foul play. But where’s the evidence of noncompliance or foul play? There isn’t any. It’s all just fear-mongering speculation and vitriolic BS spewed by the dissembling media. There’s not a word of truth to any of it.
The media’s latest scam centers on the term “breakout time”, which refers to the amount of time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon if it was so inclined, which it isn’t.
“Breakout time” is the new propaganda buzzword reiterated thousands of times in the media suggesting that Tehran is just hours away from building an atomic weapon that it will immediately use to annihilate Israel. It’s a ridiculous fairy tale that assumes that–since the US is a rouge-homicidal state that goes around bombing the bejesus out of anything that moves–that other states are bound to behave the same if given half a chance. This is wrong on many levels. First of all, Iran doesn’t want nukes and, secondly, leaders in other countries are not power-mad megalomaniacs whose only joy in life is reducing broad swathes of the planet to smoldering rubble. That behavior is particular to US leaders alone. Others don’t suffer from the same sociopathic disorder.
The nuclear issue has nothing to do Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program. That’s just a smokescreen. The real problem is that Iran is a sovereign country with an independent foreign policy. Washington doesn’t like independent nations. Washington likes nations that shut up and do what they’re told. Nations that refuse to take orders are Washington’s enemies, they’re placed on a hit list. And that’s where the sanctions come into play. Sanctions are the way that Washington weakens its enemies before bombing them to kingdom come. They’re the stick the US uses to beat its rivals into submission.
If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that something very strange is going on. The US has done an about-face and changed its policy towards Iran. It’s a shocking development. The US has maintained the same savage policy towards Cuba for 60 years without changing a thing. Whether the policy works or not, has never mattered; what matters is inflicting maximum pain on the people Washington’s doesn’t like. So why the sudden change with Iran? Why is Obama trying to reach an agreement with a country that US elites openly despise?
And, keep in mind, that what Obama’s doing is extremely unpopular with many powerful groups; the congress, the media, Israel and even high ranking officials in his own State Department. Could it be that the powerbrokers who pull Obama’s strings and tell him what to do have suddenly seen the light and want to open a new era of reconciliation and friendship with Iran?
Of course not. No one believes that. The only reason Obama would strike a deal with Iran is because the US wants something in return. And the US does want something in return. The US wants a substitute for Russian gas flowing to the Europe so it can destroy Russia economically and implement its strategic plan to spread US power across Asia so US mega-corporations can maintain their dominant position in the global economy. Obama is playing nice with Iran so he can pivot to Asia as easily as possible.
So how plausible is it for Iran to replace Russian gas in the lucrative EU market?
Check out this clip from an article written in 2014 that anticipated the very scenario we see developing today, that is, the US trying to prevent an integrated EU-Russian free trade zone that would dwarf the US GDP and leave the exceptional nation to face years of precipitous decline. The article is titled “EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas”:
The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran, as relations with Tehran thaw, while those with top gas supplier Russia grow colder…
“Iran is far towards the top of our priorities for mid-term measures that will help reduce our reliance on Russian gas supplies,” the source said. “Iran’s gas could come to Europe quite easily and politically there is a clear rapprochement between Tehran and the West.”….
While sanctioned itself, Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia and is a potential alternative given talks between Tehran and the West to reach a deal over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear programme.
“High potential for gas production, domestic energy sector reforms that are underway, and ongoing normalization of its relationship with the West make Iran a credible alternative to Russia,” said a paper prepared for the European parliament…
“Given Russia’s current strategy politically, which is one of confrontation with Europe, I see the EU having little choice but to find alternative gas supplies,” he added…
“Iran’s interest to deliver gas to Europe is very big. Parts of Iran’s economical and political elite as well as Western companies are preparing for an end of the sanctions,” said Frank Umbach, energy research director at King’s College in London…
Iran has long lobbied to build a designated pipeline that would connect its huge South Pars gas field with European customers – the so-called Persian Pipeline.
“It’s an extremely ambitious project,” Handjani said. “Even if half of it gets built it would be major accomplishment for both Europe and Iran.”…
Independent feasibility studies show that if sanctions were to be eased and investments started soon, Iran could supply 10-20 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to Turkey and Europe by the early 2020s.
(EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas, euractiv.com)
This is why Obama wants to ease sanctions; it’s because he needs to find an alternate source of gas for Europe while he prosecutes his war on Russia. Defeating Russia has become Washington’s top strategic priority. The United States is willing to risk everything –even nuclear war– to maintain its stranglehold on global power and to extend its hegemony into the next century.
There’s a new front opening up in the war on your wealth. If you haven’t heard yet of the “bail-in,” you will. Even if you have, you need to know the latest…
The bail-in is another weapon in the government’s arsenal of capital controls meant to reward Wall Street cronies and separate you from your money.
We’ve long been familiar with capital controls, such as daily limits on bank withdrawals. Add that to seven years of microscopic interest rates cannibalizing savers’ nest eggs combined with planned inflation stealing your money while you sleep. But unlike the drip-drip we’re used to, the bail-in will come upon you quickly, harshly, and with finality.
As the world faced a complete financial meltdown in 2008, Congress ponied up fresh taxpayer money – $800 billion for openers and trillions since – to bail-out favored banks and industries. Out-of-favor institutions were allowed to fail. Jobs, fortunes, and futures disappeared while unborn generations were saddled overnight with unpayable debt.
Congress and bankers noted the sharply disagreeable taxpayer reaction. So they recycled an old idea from the Great Depression’s playbook – next time, just steal bank depositors’ life savings.
That tried and true tactic took a new name: the bail-in. The easy part – the laws they needed had been in place for decades. But for added cover, they passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, a 1930’s-styled, bank heist blueprint with a feel-good name.
Those laws altogether say your money in your bank account in your name is not your money. Those laws say the bank owns your deposited money, not you.
Court cases have upheld for decades that putting your money in savings, a CD, or other banking products means you’ve become an “unsecured creditor.”
Your deposit is actually an unsecured loan to the bank with all the problems of counterparty risk! Instead of being presented with collateral, you get an IOU that pays a pittance in interest, or in many cases nothing.
A busted bank doesn’t have to return your principal deposits. Unlike when YOU are the borrower and THE BANK is the lender, the bank didn’t tender you a lawyered up promissory note or offer you a lien on its assets. Legally speaking, you may as well have handed your money to a stranger in the alley.
“Unsecured creditor” means just what it says: “no security.”
As banks went belly up during the Great Depression, slaughtering depositors’ life savings, Congress offered reassurance that banks could be safe by creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. For decades thereafter, careful depositors walked the tightrope of spreading their deposits among various banks to qualify for insurance protection.
Every depositor should now be aware of the FDIC’s congressional mandate to handle the next global economic meltdown. Readers can read that entire scheme here.
It’s not an easy read because it was never meant to be. Here are some notes that might help…
The Scheme’s Fine Print Reads: Bank Depositors Are Screwed
It’s a joint plan with the Bank of England. Bankers see the next meltdown again going global. The title accurately names the sole intended survivors – “Globally Active, Systemically Important Financial Institutions.” The document reveals a future meltdown was anticipated, discussed, and coordinated years before the publication date of December 10, 2012.
The language “top of the group” refers to creditors, stock holders, and bond holders. They are first in line for slaughter (p. ii, p. iii).
“Resolution tools” and “resolution powers” are used throughout the document. “…applying resolution tools to different parts of the group” means FDIC has authority to make it up as they go (p.1, para 3). “…resolution authorities must not be constrained in exercising discretion” means FDIC decisions carry absolute legal authority (p.1, para.4).
FDIC doesn’t like the word “save,” as in “save bad banks.” FDIC substitutes the word “resolve” 18 times.
And then there’s you, the “unsecured creditor.”
As it happens, “unsecured creditors” are quite important with the FDIC, appearing 11 times in the 18 page document. “…unsecured creditors should thus expect that their claims would be written down to reflect any losses that shareholders did not cover” means we’ll tell you how much you lost after we divvy up the take (p.6, para 12). That could also point to lowered insurance limits without notice, if any insurance is left at all.
“…it will take time for losses to be assessed for purposes of recapitalization” strongly hints at freezing any loot in accounts left behind (p.8, para 35).
Your consolation prize, if there’s one at all, might be some government-issued bank stock you can’t sell.
FDIC congratulates itself 9 times for not “exposing taxpayers,” never mentioning FDIC itself would be bankrupt after the first $50 billion in claims, leaving taxpayers to bail-out the very FDIC created in 1933 to shield their savings deposits. One single zombie bank could easily swallow $50 billion. Estimates of currently insured FDIC deposits exceed $6 trillion.
Bail-in Scheme Has Been Tested and Is Ready for Use
The bail-in ripoff scheme has been successfully tested. Depositors in Cyprus found their savings largely wiped out early in 2013. That infamous bail-in was a test run, leaving the U.S. government’s fingerprints all over Cyprus. It is significant to note Cypriot authorities claimed, on their website, the legal authority to change rules mid-stream at any time, just as the FDIC claims.
Low withdrawal limits stopped panicked depositors’ last minute bank runs. As banks stole their deposits, no citizens stormed banks with pitchforks, no guillotines were hauled into the village square. Bankers from Cyprus to New York congratulated themselves all around.
Poland quickly followed, stealing not bank accounts but private pension funds. Authorities took 50% of Polish retirement funds overnight with the click of a mouse.
Bail-in plans have been adopted by Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe for future use. The G-20, representing the twenty largest national economies, rubber stamped approval for global bail-ins late last year, as has the International Monetary Fund. Just last week, Austria suddenly dumped its version of FDIC insurance altogether.
Governments facing economic annihilation across the globe are now legally authorized to seize banking depositors’ savings, either all or in part, overnight, and without notice. The bail-in is a treasure map for bankers and governments at the next hint of worldwide economic calamity.
They know the next meltdown will be your grandfather’s Great Depression.
Unlike the 1930’s, there will be no point standing in long lines with hat in hand to ask for your money. By the time you hear the news, your money in the bank will already be gone.
“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests…..We must, however, be mindful that…Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.”
“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia…and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”
-THE GRAND CHESSBOARD – American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, page 30, Basic Books, 1997
The Laussanne negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. They are, in fact, another attempt to weaken and isolate Russia by easing sanctions, thus allowing Iranian gas to replace Russian gas in Europe. Laussanne shows that Washington still thinks that the greatest threat to its dominance is the further economic integration of Russia and Europe, a massive two-continent free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok that would eventually dwarf dwindling US GDP while decisively shifting the balance of global power to Asia. To counter that threat, the Obama administration toppled the elected government of Ukraine in a violent coup, launched a speculative attack on the ruble, forced down global oil prices, and is presently arming and training neo-Nazi extremists in the Ukrainian army. Washington has done everything in its power to undermine relations between the EU and Russia risking even nuclear war in its effort to separate the natural trading partners and to strategically situate itself in a location where it can control the flow of vital resources from East to West.
Laussanne was about strategic priorities not nukes. The Obama administration realizes that if it can’t find an alternate source of gas for Europe, then its blockade of Russia will fail and the EU-Russia alliance will grow stronger. And if the EU-Russia alliance grows stronger, then US attempts to extend its tentacles into Asia and become a major player in the world’s most prosperous region will also fail leaving Washington to face a dismal future in which the steady erosion of its power and prestige is a near certainty. This is from an article titled “Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan”:
“If Washington removes energy sanctions on Iran…then a new geopolitical configuration will emerge in the region. Connecting with Nabucco will be enough for Iran to fully supply Europe with gas…
Iran takes the floor with inexhaustible oil and gas reserves and as a key transit country. Iran disposes of the 10% of the reported global oil reserves and is the second country in the world after Russia with its natural gas reserves (15%). The official representatives of Iran do not hide that they strive to enter the European market of oil and gas, as in the olden days. Let’s remember that the deputy Minister of Oil in Iran, Ali Majedi, offered to revive project of Nabucco pipeline during his European tour and said that his country is ready to supply gas to Europe through it…
“Some months earlier the same Ali Majedi reported sensational news: ‘two invited European delegations’ discussed the potential routes of Iranian gas supply to Europe,” the article reads.” … It is also noted that the West quite materially reacted to the possibility of the Iranian gas to join Nabucco.” (Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan, Panorama)
So, is this the plan, to provide “energy security” to Europe by replacing Russian gas with Iranian gas?
It sure looks like it. But that suggests that the sanctions really had nothing to do with Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program but were merely used to humiliate Iran while keeping as much of its oil and gas offline until western-backed multinationals could get their greasy mitts on it.
Indeed, that’s exactly how the sanctions were used even though the nuclear issue was a transparent fake from the get go. Get a load of this from the New York Times:
“Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.” (U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb, James Risen, New York Times, February 24, 2012)
See? The entire US intelligence establishment has been saying the same thing from the onset: No Iranian nukes. Nor has Iran ever been caught diverting nuclear fuel to other purposes. Never. Also, as nuclear weapons physicist, Gordon Prather stated many times before his death, “After almost three years of go-anywhere see-anything interview-anyone inspections, IAEA inspectors have yet to find any indication that Iran has — or ever had — a nuclear weapons program.”
The inspectors were on the ground for three freaking years. They interviewed everyone and went wherever they wanted. They searched every cave and hideaway, every nook and cranny, and they found nothing.
Get it? No nukes, not now, not ever. Period.
The case against Iran is built on propaganda, brainwashing and bullshit, in that order. But, still, that doesn’t tell us why the US is suddenly changing course. For that, we turn to an article from The Brookings Institute titled “Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter” which sums it up quite well. Here’s a clip:
“At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Proponents of the deal believe that the best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to seek to integrate Iran into the regional order, even while remaining wary of its ambitions. A nuclear deal is an important first step in that regard, but its details matter little because the ultimate goal is to change Iranian intentions rather destroy Iranian capability.” (Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter, Brookings)
Notice how carefully the author avoids mentioning Israel by name although he alludes to “the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies”. Does he think he’s talking to idiots?
But his point is well taken; the real issue is not “Iranian capability”, but “Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East”. In other words, the nuclear issue is baloney. What Washington doesn’t like is that Iran has an independent foreign policy that conflicts with the US goal of controlling the Middle East. That’s what’s really going on. Washington wants a compliant Iran that clicks its heals and does what its told.
The problem is, the strategy hasn’t worked and now the US is embroiled in a confrontation with Moscow that is a higher priority than the Middle East project. (The split between US elites on this matter has been interesting to watch, with the Obama-Brzezinski crowd on one side and the McCain-neocon crowd on the other.) This is why the author thinks that easing sanctions and integrating Iran into the predominantly US system would be the preferable remedy for at least the short term.
Repeat: “The best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to integrate Iran into the regional order.” In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em. Iran is going to be given enough freedom to fulfill its role within the imperial order, that is, to provide gas to Europe in order to inflict more economic pain on Russia. Isn’t that what’s going on?
But what effect will that have on Iran-Russia relations? Will it poison the well and turn one ally against the other?
Probably not, mainly because the ties between Iran and Russia are growing stronger by the day. Check this out from the Unz Review by Philip Giraldi:
“Moscow and Tehran are moving towards a de-facto strategic partnership, which can be easily seen by the two groundbreaking announcements from earlier this week. It’s now been confirmed by the Russian government that the rumored oil-for-goods program between Russia and Iran is actually a real policy that’s already been implemented, showing that Moscow has wasted no time in trying to court the Iranian market after the proto-deal was agreed to a week earlier. Providing goods in exchange for resources is a strategic decision that creates valuable return customers in Iran, who will then be in need of maintenance and spare parts for their products. It’s also a sign of deep friendship between the two Caspian neighbors and sets the groundwork for the tentative North-South economic corridor between Russia and India via Iran.” (A Shifting Narrative on Iran, Unz Review)
But here’s the glitch: Iran can’t just turn on the spigot and start pumping gas to Europe. It doesn’t work that way. It’s going to take massive pipeline and infrastructure upgrades that could take years to develop. That means there will be plenty of hefty contracts awarded to friends of Tehran –mostly Russian and Chinese–who will perform their tasks without interfering in domestic politics. Check this out from Pepe Escobar:
“Russia and China are deeply committed to integrating Iran into their Eurasian vision. Iran may finally be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the upcoming summer summit in Russia. That implies a full-fledged security/commercial/political partnership involving Russia, China, Iran and most Central Asian ’stans’.
Iran is already a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); that means financing for an array of New Silk Road-related projects bound to benefit the Iranian economy. AIIB funding will certainly merge with loans and other assistance for infrastructure development related to the Chinese-established Silk Road Fund…” (Russia, China, Iran: In sync, Pepe Escobar, Russia Today)
Get the picture? Eurasian integration is already done-deal and there’s nothing the US can do to stop it.
Washington needs to rethink its approach. Stop the meddling and antagonism, rebuild relations through trade and mutual trust, and accept the inevitability of imperial decline.
Asia’s star is rising just as America’s is setting. Deal with it.