Barging Into The Future On A Platform of Lies…
I hasten to explain
That having once been to the University of Oxford
You can never really again
Believe anything that anyone says and that of course is an asset
In a world like ours;
Why bother to water a garden
That is planted with paper flowers?*
Many U. S. citizens ignore the decimation of their country. No nation can long endure while its substance is drained by constant war. No economy can flourish by making hamburgers for each other. History has confirmed that deterioration in moral standards often precedes the fall of nations. The United States is ripe and will fall when the artificial creation of wealth ceases – when the Bramble men who control the flow of money stop providing it and instead demand that the debts be paid.
Some argue that while our debts now amount to over $50m per person our assets are over $300m per person – not to worry. What are the assets? Do our assets involve private wealth and public property? Do we have gold reserves? What would happen to life in the United States when the Bramble men demanded payment?
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_wealth defines National Wealth as the aggregate of household wealth less liabilities. That means the $300m figure does include private family assets! Though over ten years of war have resulted in little or no inconvenienced to the American people it is their assets that are being mortgaged. When the Bramble men demand an accounting it will not be the upper 1 percent who will be destroyed (they have accumulated most of the wealth); instead, the middle classes will be saddled with a debt that will wipe out the remainder of their wealth and force them into slave labor.
The Bramble men control our press, our media, our money, and our government they make the decisions that determine the course of our nation but we, the citizens, are responsible for what our nation does. Most of us would rather ignore the cloud of tyranny that hovers over us, the deaths of millions of innocent civilians in far off nations, the constant creation of dangerous phantoms that rob our freedoms, militarized police, the installation of a legal code that will create martial law, and the impending enslavement of the nation. We ignore this progressing danger at the risk of our health, our wealth and our freedom.
It is us, Mr. and Mrs. America, you and I who must bear the responsibility for the disaster that is coming. We have voted for the rascals who have allowed our nation to be destroyed. We have voted for the men and women who have passed the trade legislation that has robbed us of our industry. Year after year we have returned to the polls and voted for individuals who have lied to us and used their office to extend the claws of tyranny. Our vote amounts to an endorsement of the policies of the men and women we elect to rule us.
It appears that our 2016 choices for national leadership will be Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Jeb Bush was a contributor to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). This neocon drafted document was largely responsible for the rise of empire which has been the ruination of America. He is an insider who will continue to allow our nation to be hijacked by the Bramble men. Hillary Clinton will lie more frequently and be less civil but the policies will not change. She and her husband, Bill, are longtime tools of the Bramble men. Either candidate will continue the war and the bankruptcy of our nation saddling its citizens with debt that will eventually enslave them.
Voting in the election of 2016 will be like watering paper flowers.
The United States of America is a ghost nation. Its manufacturing base has been hollowed out, its culture has been decimated, its Constitution is ignored, its moral standards have been shoved into the gutter, its press and media are propaganda centers that censor and distort reality, its government no longer represents its people, its reputation in the world has gone from respected to feared and distrusted, it is led by men and women who live and act as if lies are truth, it is controlled by forces that hate its citizens and their dominant religion, and it is accumulating a debt that will by itself eventually enslave its citizens.
If he is sincere and not just another pawn in the deception game Vladimir Putin said it well: “This position is not related in any way to anti-Americanism; we have a great deal of respect and love for the United States, and especially for the American people. I feel that these are simply unilateral actions and the expansion of jurisdiction by one nation beyond the territory of its borders, to the rest of the world, is unacceptable and destructive for international relations.”
I, too, have great love and respect for the United States and her people. Born in 1929 I grew up in the clutches of the Great Depression. It was a time when the goodness of the American people could be seen in action; her people willing to share even when they, themselves, were in need.
In the small mid-western town where I was raised everyone struggled to make their limited resources stretch and to live on the severe reduction in income that was universal. Neighbors shared with each other. Visiting was a form of entertainment and everyone knew not only their neighbors but most of the people that lived in the town. If someone died food and sympathy were quick at their door. Families with sickness were helped and grief was shared. It was a time when love was defined by actions and when those actions defined the culture.
Yes, there were exceptions, Al Capone was powerful in Chicago and his tentacles were apparent in the slot machines that were seen in most drug stores and soda fountains. There were gangsters who robbed banks and thieves who robbed people but our home was seldom locked and as children we played outside, often all day, without supervision.
We were poor but we were free; we could associate with whomever we choose, we could do whatever we wanted, we could exclude those we did not want, we could experiment with danger and learn how to control and evade it. Children owned guns and learned how to use them safely. They lit firecrackers that were two inches long and ¾ “ diameter – they could blow the bottom out a tin can and sent is 30 feet in the air. It was dangerous but it was exciting and wisdom building.
There were fights that no one broke up but there were rules. Guns were never considered but occasionally someone would pull a knife. Knives were considered unfair and anyone who resorted to them was ostracized. Bare fists were acceptable and bloody noses and chipped teeth were occasionally inflicted. There were some bullies but winning a fight did not give the winner license. Cruelty and serious injuries were extremely rare.
At times most of us were afraid. Someone challenged us to a fight that we knew we could not win. We learned to handle fear and to live with danger. Life provided us with a wonderful, realistic education.
Ironically, it was this era of freedom and poverty that allowed the government to gain powers that have changed the culture of our nation from one of liberty and benevolence to tyranny and avarice. The idea that local schools should consolidate was afloat and congress passed Federal programs designed to relieve poverty. The greedy fingers of the government began to clutch at our culture.
In Jon Stallworthy’s biography of Louis MacNeice he refers to the 1930s culture at Oxford in England. To MacNeice’s dismay homosexuality was coupled with intelligence and heterosexuality with brawn (Pg. 218). The seeds that began the deterioration of our culture were watered and cultivated over the years and are now bearing fruit in the Twenty-First Century. (MacNeice was educated at Oxford but uncomfortable with the culture.)
It was Christian morality – the Law God gave to Moses – that brought prosperity and order to the civilized world. Good and evil were determined by His immutable Law and that yardstick guided Western culture for centuries. It was never perfect and was often not even acknowledged but its sublime influence guided life.
Now the Bramble men from Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford have risen above good and evil. In “Our Threatened Freedom” R. J. Rushdoony cites Princeton Professor Walter Kaufman’s contention in his book “Without Guilt and Justice” that there is no God and therefore there is no justice and since there is no justice there is no guilt. Rushdoony’s response, (Pg. 122) “If God is meaningless to us, then justice and freedom will be meaningless also, and finally life itself. The course we are on is suicidal. The wages of sin have always been death.”
As we approach the presidential election of 2016 our nation is on a road that leads to suicide. We are being led by the same Pharisaical spirit the Jesus vehemently condemned.
Voters should refuse to vote for paper flowers and instead boycott the election.
*Louis MacNeice, “Autumn Journal” 1938
“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 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.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is willing to risk a war with China in order to defend “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. Speaking in Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday, Carter issued his “most forceful” warning yet, demanding “an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation” by China in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Carter said: “There should be no mistake: The United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.” He also added that the United States intended to remain “the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.”
In order to show Chinese leaders “who’s the boss”, Carter has threatened to deploy US warships and surveillance aircraft to within twelve miles of the islands that China claims are within their territorial waters. Not surprisingly, the US is challenging China under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a document the US has stubbornly refused to ratify. But that’s neither here nor there for the bellicose Carter whose insatiable appetite for confrontation makes him the most reckless Sec-Def since Donald Rumsfeld.
So what’s this really all about? Why does Washington care so much about a couple hundred yards of sand piled up on reefs reefs in the South China Sea? What danger does that pose to US national security? And, haven’t Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines all engaged in similar “land reclamation” activities without raising hackles in DC?
Of course, they have. The whole thing is a joke. Just like Carter’s claim that he’s defending the lofty principal of “freedom of navigation” is a joke. China has never blocked shipping lanes or seized boats sailing in international waters. Never. The same cannot be said of the United States that just recently blocked an Iranian ship loaded with humanitarian relief–food, water and critical medical supplies–headed to starving refugees in Yemen. Of course, when the US does it, it’s okay.
The point is, Washington doesn’t give a hoot about the Spratly Islands; it’s just a pretext to slap China around and show them who’s running the show in their own backyard. Carter even admits as much in his statement above when he says that the US plans to be “the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.” China knows what that means. It means “This is our planet, so you’d better shape up or you’re going to find yourself in a world of hurt.” That’s exactly what it means.
So let’s cut to the chase and try to explain what’s really going on, because pretty soon no one is going to be talking about Ukraine, Syria or Yemen because all eyes are going to be focused on China where our madhatter Secretary of Defense is trying to start a third world war.
Here’s the scoop: Washington has abandoned its China policy of “containment” and moved on to Plan B: Isolation, intimidation and confrontation. In my opinion, this is why the powerbrokers behind Obama dumped Hagel. Hagel just wasn’t hawkish enough for the job. They wanted a died-in-the-wool, warmongering neocon, like Carter, who is, quite likely, the most dangerous man in the world.
Carter’s assignment is to implement the belligerent new policy of incitement and conflict. His actions will prove to the skeptics that Washington is no longer interested in integrating China into the US-led system. Rather, China has become a the biggest threat to Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia. And, just to remind readers how important the pivot is to America’s future, here’s an Obama quote I lifted up from Tom Engelhardt’s latest titled “Superpower in Distress”:
“After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia Pacific region….As we end today’s wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority.”
The so called pivot is Washington’s “top priority”, which means that China’s unprecedented ascendency must be slowed and its regional influence curtailed. Thus, the dust up over the Spratly Islands will be used in the same way the US has used other incidents, that is, by demonizing China’s leaders in the media, by assembling a coalition that will publicly oppose China’s activities, by implementing harsh economic sanctions, by launching asymmetrical attacks on China’s currency and financial markets, by excluding China from critical trade agreements, and by inciting social unrest (color-coded revolution) through the support of dissidents living in China. These are the all-too-familiar signs of US meddling directed at “emerging rivals” who threaten US global hegemony. China now finds itself at the top of the list.
US powerbrokers know that bullying China involves significant risks for themselves and the world. Even so, they have decided to pursue this new policy and force a confrontation. Why? Why would they embark on a strategy so fraught with danger?
The answer is: They don’t see any way around it. They’ve tried containment and it hasn’t worked. China’s growing like crazy and its regional influence threatens to leave the US on the outside looking in. Carter even admitted as much in a recent speech he gave at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. He said: “We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets…forging many separate trade agreements in recent years, some based on pressure and special arrangements…. Agreements that…..leave us on the sidelines. That risks America’s access to these growing markets. We must all decide if we are going to let that happen. If we’re going to help boost our exports and our economy…and cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world; or if, instead, we’re going to take ourselves out of the game.”
See? It’s all about markets. It’s all about money. Here’s more from Carter’s speech: (The) ” Asia-Pacific…is the defining region for our nation’s future”… “Half of humanity will live there by 2050″ and that “more than half of the global middle class and its accompanying consumption will come from that region.”….”There are already more than 525 million middle class consumers in Asia, and we expect there to be 3.2 billion in the region by 2030…President Obama and I want to ensure that… businesses can successfully compete for all these potential customers. ….Over the next century, no region will matter more… for American prosperity.”
This is why the Obama administration is making a general nuisance of itself in the South China Sea. It’s so the big US mega-corporations will have new customers for their IPADs and toaster ovens.
For that, they are willing to risk a nuclear war.
“Political Ponerology” is the name given by Polish psychiatrist Andrzej M. Łobaczewski to an interdisciplinary study of the founders (i.e., Karl Marx) and supporters of 20th century totalitarian political regimes. His study utilizes data from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history to account for the propagation of man’s inhumanity to man through such phenomena as terrorism, aggressive war, ethnic cleansing, ostracism, genocide, and despotism:
“As many as 7 million Ukrainians were starved in Soviet Socialist dictator Joseph Stalin’s artificial, forced famine in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. This is approximately the total population of Manitoba, Newfoundland, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.” (Inky Mark, M. P. Dauphin – Swan River House of Commons 2 June 1998, Famine-Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933)
“Moscow employed the famine as a political weapon against the Ukrainians in the years 1932-1933. The famine was in its entirety artificially induced and organized.” (ibid, Investigation of Communist Takeover and Occupation of the Non-Russian Nations of the U.S.S.R p. 35)
“… On one side, millions of starving peasants, their bodies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldiers, members of the GPU carrying out the instructions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible; they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages; they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert.” (ibid, Malcolm Muggeridge, “War on the Peasants,” Fortnightly Review, 1 May, 1933)
“Food is a weapon.” (ibid, Maxim Litvinov – Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs)
According to the authors of “The Black Book of Communism,” Communist and Socialist regimes did not just commit criminal acts but were criminal enterprises in their very essence:
“…all ruled lawlessly and without regard for human life (and) one particular feature of many Communist regimes (was) their use of famine as a weapon. The Bolsheviks had decided to eliminate…any challenge or resistance, even if passive, to their absolute power. This strategy applied not only to groups with opposing political views, but also to such social groups as the nobility, the middle class, the intelligentsia…the clergy…military officers and the police.” (pp. xvii, 8-9)
A coalition of atheist pagan Jews (Bolsheviks) and atheist pagan Gentiles (Marxist Communists) systematically stole the personal property of Russians and sexually perverted their children and conditioned them to hate the Trinity, Jesus Christ God Incarnate in particular, as well as their own parents, the Christian church and their homeland. The sons of Belial undermined and destroyed the traditional family, unleashed a holocaust of abortion, homosexualized culture, desecrated and blasphemed churches, crucified thousands of nuns and priests and in general, committed monstrous crimes against humanity which took the lives of more than sixty-million men, women, and children. For example:
“About 200,000 clergy, many crucified, scalped and otherwise tortured, were killed during the approximately 60 years of communist rule in the former Soviet Union, a Russian commission reported this week. In addition, another 500,000 religious figures were persecuted and 40,000 churches destroyed in the period from 1922 to 1980, the report said. Half the country’s mosques and more than half the synagogues were also destroyed” Clergymen were crucified on churches’ holy gates, shot, scalped [and] strangled,” said Alexander Yakovlev, head of the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression. The commission prepared the report for Russian President Boris Yeltsin. “I was especially shocked by accounts of priests turned into columns of ice in winter,” Yakovlev said. “It was total cruelty.” (paulbogdanor.com)
“Persecution and martyrdom of Christians under 20th century totalitarianism–mainly of Russian Orthodox Christians under Bolshevism–is by far the greatest crime in all of recorded history….Attempts at “killing the soul” started only months after the Revolution of 1917.” Persecution and martyrdom was, “several times greater than the Holocaust in terms of innocent lives brutally destroyed. It has killed more Christians in a few decades than all other causes put together in all ages, with Islam a distant second as the cause of their death and suffering. And yet it still remains a largely unknown, often minimized, or scandalously glossed over crime.” (New Martyrs of the East and Coming Trials in the West, Srdja Trifkovic, OrthodoxyToday.com)
In this light we can understand why Lobaczewskis’ original manuscript quickly went into the furnace just minutes before a secret police raid. In 1984 the manuscript was reassembled, but according to Lobaczewski, its publication was blocked by technocratic globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski. After half a century of suppression it is finally available.
Though Lobaczewski’s study is a clinically accurate description of the nature of human evil it falls into the error of attributing evil to biological causes rather than the sin nature of man. Despite this failing, Political Ponerology is a shocking account of large scale evil super-heated by hatred of the Holy God and burning with envy and will to power—or what Lobaczewski terms ‘ponerogenic processes’ that overtook modern Russia and have overtaken whole societies and nations since time immemorial.
When ponerogenic processes have finally saturated a society’s entire ruling class and opposition from morally convicted people has been crushed, then we are dealing with what Lobaczewski calls Macrosocial Evil or a “macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon.” (p. 121)
Ponerogenic processes are synonymous with the unfettered, vastly inflamed sin nature of man beginning with inflated pride issuing in covetousness, selfishness, ingratitude, jealousy, resentment and hate, all of which early Church Fathers combined into the cold-blooded vice known as envy. Thus when ‘macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon’ has saturated a nation’s ruling class and most of its society it means that a tyranny of evil fueled by poneros has overtaken it. Poneros is:
“The passion which causes evil, the father of death, the first entrance for sin, the root of wickedness, the birth of sorrow, the mother of misfortune, the basis of disobedience, the beginning of shame. Envy
banishes us from paradise….Envy made Joseph a slave. Envy is the death-dealing sting, the hidden weapon, the sickness of nature, the bitter poison, the self-willed emaciation, the bitter dart, the nail of the soul, the fire in the heart, the flame burning on the inside…” (Life of Moses, Gregory of Nyssa, quoted in Death by Envy, Fr. George R.A. Aquaro, p. 74)
“Scripture combines envy with jealousy, covetousness and stinginess, into a single concept that is a manifestation of idolatry (narcissism) of self and belief that there is a limited supply of good.” (ibid)
Scripture attributes poneros to the Evil One, the leader of all forces of evil. The Evil One is the spirit of rebellion and negation, the father of lies, “the adversary” “the accuser,” “calumniator” and undiluted essence of envy who works through the principle of negation and rebellion in the fallen souls of lawless natural men:
“The evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil (poneros) things” Matthew 12:35
Poneros has played a part in human dynamics ever since the Evil One persuaded the envy-bitten Cain to murder his brother Abel, Judas to betray Jesus Christ and the Pharisees to crucify Him, and Saul to suddenly throw his spear at David in a murderous attempt at pinning him to a wall. (1 Sam. 18:11) In fact, the envy-bitten Saul tried three times to kill David with a javelin (1 Sam. 18:10-11, 19: 9-10) and to bring about David’s death by the Philistines. (1 Sam. 18:25)
Poneros is also the spirit animating British philosopher Adam Smith’s sophistry, that is, his phony concern postured in sophisticated questions and ‘evidence’ such as,
“Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” “Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?”
“Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t – the difference in their life chances – is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t.” (Parents reading to kids blasted as ‘unfair,’ Joe Kovacs, WND, May, 2015)
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. captures the spirit of poneros in his brilliantly conceived short story, “Harrison Bergeron,”
“THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”
As a tyranny of poneros had overtaken and led to the degradation and implosion of ancient Greek society, an exploration of Greek thought with regard to types of envy will prove enlightening. The first type is ‘zelos,’ a kind of envy stirred up by any perceived superiority (inequality). In the poem, ‘Work and Days,’ Isocrates presents the spirit of zelos as “with grim face and screaming voice, who delights in evil” and causes Decency and Respect to flee. (1) The anonymous author “Michael Swift” warns of this very thing in a widely circulated article called “Gay Revolutionary.” In prose that chills the spine Swift warns the envied straight community that the men of Sodom shall be victorious,
“..because we are filled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages…We too are capable of firing guns and manning barricades of the ultimate revolution….Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.” (Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America, Peter Jones, p. 255)
Empowered by spineless, accommodating jellies throughout our seminaries, pulpits, government and courts, the envy-bitten men and women of modern Sodom maliciously terrorize Christian bakers, florists, bed and breakfast owners and other decent, law-abiding straight males and females, forcing them to either submit or be crushed even as the men of Sodom openly rape the souls and bodies of their sons and daughters in churches, schools, and elsewhere. (Envy and the Greeks: A Study of Human Behavior, Peter Walcot, pp. 2-3 from Death by Envy, Fr. George R. A. Aquaro, p. 12)
As the Holy Triune God is the “moral monster” responsible for the poor choices, weaknesses, sin nature and failures of the self-pitying, self-absorbed and envy-bitten, zelos is also the spirit behind the ‘murder’ of the Christian God, the closing off of the supernatural dimension and the Way to Paradise with the requisite suppression of His Revelation to man, the miracle of Special Creation, Original Sin, Moral Law, immutable Truth, judgment, and hell. Thus zelos is the lying, hateful, intolerant spirit behind the elevation of evolutionary scientism above the inerrant Word of God.
Zelos animates back-stabbing gossip, slander, snooping, spying, tale-bearing, the politics of personal destruction as well as special rights and privileges for the so-called oppressed (envy-bitten). Zelos demands redistribution of wealth, egalitarian sameness issuing in loss of gender identity (i.e., mother, father, husband, wife) in favor of gender-neutral terms such as ‘partner.’ It demands same-sex marriage, absolute inclusion and tolerance, ‘legalized’ illegal immigration, the mandated sexualization and perversion of our youth by pan-sexual and omni-gendered sexologists, and a hob-nailed boot viciously crushing the faces of envied “oppressors.”
Morally, zelos is the venom behind America’s reigning Pharisaic legalism: political correctness, hate crime laws, speech codes, gender equality, economic equality, and sensitivity training. In ‘political’ terms, green-eyed zelos is the spirit of green multiculturalism, green ecology, green sustainability, green ‘family planning,’ green global warming/cooling/change, green socialism and green diversity.
In “Diversity': The Idol of Academia,” Jack Kerwick describes diversity as a ‘god’ that is as educationally invidious as it is false:
“Diversity” is not just a good in the academic world. It is the supreme good, the one good before which all other considerations must yield….”cultural diversity” not only doesn’t correspond to a rise in intellectual diversity; it invariably corresponds to a rise in political uniformity. This is crucial, for the promotion of “cultural diversity” is nothing more or less than the promotion of a left-wing ideological agenda.” (June 26, 2014 Jack Kerwick, Front Page Magazine)
Zelos in its every malignant, sadistic permutation is the green-eyed spirit behind left-wing ideology and its’ totalitarian fantasy:
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” (Winston Churchill, British orator, author and Prime Minister during World War II, 1874-1965)
“When I say that Marxism is based on envy, I mean that the glorious revolution of the proletariat…was really a promise to put a final end to all the conditions that make for envy.” (Joseph Epstein, author and former editor of The American Scholar, from Truths about Socialism, Coral Ridge Ministries, p. 66)
After zelos come philotimia and hybris. In Greek mythology, philotimia is narcissism–love of self, love of attention, love of self-affirmation, love of self-gratification– while hybris is the arrogance, insolence, contempt, insult, shame, hatred and mistreatment of human objects of envy by a sadistic narcissist. In Greece, philotemia and hybris were on display when the gods and their earthly counterparts punished inferior ‘subhumans’ for usurping their authority as well as when they struggled amongst themselves for positions of primacy. In America, philotimia and hybris are visible when America’s left-right ‘ruling class’ god-men try to destroy each other in their vicious power struggles among themselves. These two green-eyed monsters, philotemia/hybris are on display whenever the god-men’s lapdog media engage in vicious psychological bullying and other malicious forms of mistreatment of stupid, unevolved hominids –the hard-working middle class, especially the Tea Party and God-fearing orthodox Christians and faithful Jews—the so-called oppressors.
Philotimia/hybris is also the spirit animating the intolerant, hateful attitudes of evolutionary theologians toward defenders of the Revealed Word of God beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo.
Phthonos is the fourth type of envy/covetousness. Phthonos seeks to deprive envied ‘other’ of possessions, honor, status, spiritual gifts and virtues. Phthonos for example, is the diabolical Darwinian reductionism of man in his Creator’s spiritual image to ape. It is the green-eyed totalitarian spirit of Agenda 21 together with save the earth and re-wilding schemes that elevate crocodiles, trash fish, and other creatures above the welfare of human beings. Phthonos animates carbon footprint schemes, population control plans, passive euthanasia (refusal of health care to targeted Obama care recipients), the attempted theft of Bundy’s ranch and other private property and resources. Phthonos is driven not just to ostracize and confiscate but to use psychological manipulation (i.e., lies, false guilt, slander, propaganda, scape-goating) and other terroristic force to take or deprive ‘other’ of whatever is coveted/envied.
Phthonos will even drive a man (i.e., Cain) to murder his own brother, to “murder” the Holy God (i.e., Nimrod, Karl Marx) and Jesus Christ God Incarnate (Nietzsche).
After ancient Greece had been overtaken by the spirit of poneros, the egalitarian, collectivist, or leveling impulse served to help relieve an envy-torn culture by leveling all men down to the lowest common denominator. This was enforced by character destruction and the threat of ostracism.
“…one had to watch not only the malevolent actions of envious friends and enemies, but the very real threat of ostracism by the democratic community. Philanthropy had much less to do with (love of man) as it had with….avoiding other people’s phthonos of one’s success.” (Death by Envy, p. 14)
The fifth type of envy is vaskonia or Evil Eye (ophthalmos poneros) and means something even more malignant than phthonos. Vaskonia bespeaks an evil spirit associated with demonic possession and the malign touch or glance of which leaves a soiled imprint and implies instant victimization and death. Vaskonia is inherently sudden, meaning one wrong word, one wrong expression, or the impulse of a moment is all it takes to become the victim of the Evil Eye.
As a whole, Scripture combines envy with hatred of the Holy God and one’s brother, which means that there can be no love whatsoever where there is envy and hatred in one’s heart.
Today increasing numbers of Americans at every level of society, on both left and right, Christian and secular, are controlled by their passions unfettered from the restraint of transcendent moral law. Adding to the problem are culturally relevant church models attended by thousands of Americans that cater to felt-needs and self-indulgent emotional feel-goodism (2 Tim. 4: 1-220). Thus America is “a nation ruled by its passions,” said Reb Bradley, author of “Born Liberal Raised Right.” This is why heinous acts,
“…of casual disregard for life, unheard of fifty years ago, have become a familiar item on the evening news; students killing classmates, children murdering their playmates….these gruesome crimes are merely symptomatic of a breakdown of moral fiber…” ( pp. 2-3)
The most frightening aspect of America’s descent into moral imbecility, narcissism, heresy, apostasy, pathological lying, and lawlessness is that our society is being overtaken by “ponerological processes.” Through the White House, State Department and other federal agencies, legislatures, media, Hollywood, courts, academia, pentagon, seminaries and even pulpits, the spirit of poneros is encompassing our society, suppressing and demonizing orthodox Christians, faithful Jews and other morally informed people, and overspreading our nation with a “macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon.” This will lead inevitably to a tyranny of evil, persecution and martyrdom:
“The New Martyrs’ example and their legacy is precious, because in this, 21st century, it will be the turn of Western Christians to experience martyrdom. In Western Europe they will be persecuted by the unholy alliance between the postmodern, Christophobic velvet totalitarianism of the therapeutic hyper-state, and a resurgent Islam which already accounts for a quarter of all newborns in France. In the United States they will be persecuted for refusing to accept the destruction of the moral foundation of the society, currently epitomized by abortion, by “gay marriage,” and by the ever-expanding speech and thought codes. Instead of being thrown to the lions or sent to Siberia, the resisters will be subjected–by some monstrous mechanism devised by an ever more activist judiciary–to the mandatory “sexual diversity orientation sessions,” or feminist-led pro-abortionist “right-to-choose education workshops,” or “immigrant rights sensitivity training,” after which the continuing refusal to recant will lead to compulsory “therapy” and forced medication. This scenario is not farfetched on either side of the Atlantic. Western Christians should be prepared for martyrdom.” (ibid, Srdja Trifkovic)
In “Idols for Destruction” Herbert Schlossberg proposes that we use idolatry as a framework for comprehension of the evil and persecution sweeping over and through our post-Christian society. (p. 34) The biblical explanation for moral imbecility and narcissism in connection with the end of society resides in the concept of judgment upon an idolatrous people (Ro. 1:28-32):
“Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you…saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known…” (Deut. 13: 13; Judges 19: 22, 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16, 2:12, 10:27, 25:17, 25:25, 30:22; 2 Sam. 16:7, 20:1, 23:6; 1 Kings 21:10, 21:13; 2 Chron. 6:15, 13:7)
Scripture depicts a societies’ people as either having submitted themselves to the Triune God or else as idolaters (sons of Belial) who having rebelled against Him have been delivered by Him over to worthless, useless, hardened, loveless minds. This is how the Old Testament portrays Israel. Israel had become an evil nation of idolaters fully deserving the judgment the Lord brought against it. Its’ rebellion was accompanied by a turning to idols (which can also be idols of mind such as scientism and evolutionary cosmogonies) and this idolatry brought the nation to it’s’ end.
The Decalogue shows that the beginning of idolatry is pride (preference for self over the Holy Trinity and neighbor). The will of the proud man is not in submission to the Trinity but self, thus having made an idol out of himself he assumes he possesses honor and rights. This is why pride leads to contempt for truth, law, wisdom, norms, authority, standards, rules, institutions and other people in combination with any or all of the following vices: pathological lying, treachery, murderous thoughts, gluttony, greed, covetousness, lust, hate, cheating, promiscuity, sadism, sodomy, pederasty, pedophilia, adultery, theft and the dehumanization of other people resulting in psychological and physical slavery, population control schemes, abortion, brutality, terror, mass-murder (genocide) and man-made famines.
In the final analysis, malice and envy towards the Holy Trinity compels man to destroy creation and to annihilate his God-given soul/spirit by imagining himself as ‘one’ with the evolving universe of matter and energy. This is the definition of damnation, said Fr. Aquaro. Hell is not a punishment meted out by a hateful Holy God as some would think, but an absolute refusal of a pardon granted all mankind. It is impossible to receive good from a person one envies, and so it is that one cannot be saved if one resents the Holy Triune God. This is the message of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 when the elder brother refused to enter the house upon his brother’s return. It is also the underlying meaning of CS Lewis’s pointed observation that the door to hell will be slammed and locked from inside:
“The man wakes from the final struggle of death, in absolute loneliness…Not a hint, not a shadow of anything outside his consciousness reaches him…Soon misery will beget on his imagination a thousand shapes of woe, which he will not be able to rule, direct, or even distinguish from real presences.” (C.S. Lewis: George MacDonald, an Anthology, p. 61)
1. Death by Envy, Fr. George R.A. Aquaro
Be careful of what you wish for…
Despite appearing to have a few slightly-differing opinions on just a handful of petty foreign-policy details such as how many meaningless negotiation-bones they should throw at Iran, or how many meaningless knock-off hand-slappings they should throw at Zionist neo-colonials, the routinely cooperative, agreeable and in-sync actual actions of President Obama, Congress, Wall Street and War Street clearly speak for themselves.
Judging by their actions alone, we can immediately tell that Obama, Congress, Wall Street and War Street are clearly in strong, almost-total agreement regarding their basic foreign-policy vision for America. Hey, goodie for them.
However, unfortunately for the rest of us Americans who are actually having to pay for these actions, Obama & Company’s strong vision for America also includes doing everything that they possibly can to start World War III. Ouch!
When it comes to his domestic policy, President Obama has occasionally actually tried to be helpful to his fellow Americans — as compared to John McCain’s domestic policy, for instance. Had McCain been elected in 2008 instead of Obama, he would have tried to financially eviscerate almost every single American in our middle class — if said evisceration would have given even just one more penny of our tax dollars to Wall Street and War Street instead of to us.
However, compared to Obama & Company’s current (both overt and covert) foreign policies, McCain’s 2008 foreign-policy platform appears to have been almost a walk in the park.
Right now, Obama & Company’s actual, action-based foreign policies seem to include:
- Supporting anyone and everyone who can create chaos in the Middle East — including but not limited to Israel, the Saudis and even ISIS and Al Qaeda.
- Hitting the BRICS (especially Russia and China) every chance they can get — including spinning outright lies, spreading false propaganda, using false flags, supplying massive amounts of weaponry to the neo-Nazis in Ukraine and even shooting down civilian aircraft.
- Supporting almost every single despot in the world today and alienating almost every single non-despotic government and/or democratically-elected in the Middle East, South America, Africa and the EU too.
- Preemptive nuclear strikes? Those don’t seem to be off the table at all. Those boys in DC and NATO have been reading far too much Herman Kahn!
But none of these things are cool things to do and all of them can rapidly lead to circumstances far beyond Obama & Company’s (and our) control — up to and including World War III, to be fought both abroad and at home!
Not since 1864 has America known war on its shores. Except for 9-11, the occasional violent suppression of civil rights marches and a few gun battles here and there involving bad guys and/or police, it’s been pretty calm around here for the last one hundred years.
If Obama & Company keeps on pushing their current foreign-policy agendas as hard in the future as they are doing right now in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan, Mexico, Honduras, Africa, Iraq, etc., and rattling their sabres like they were McCain, GWB and Dick Cheney combined, then we may start to know war on our own native soil a whole lot better than we would ever want to.
But perhaps at this point you might be asking yourself, “What is the problem with you, Jane? First, there’s never going to be another war here in America. And, second, even if the denizens of War Street do make a huge profit and even if 50% of American children do go without schools or shoes as a result, won’t it all still be worth it — to see America continue to be the world’s top dog?”
You just keep on telling yourself that — but only if you don’t really mind butchering a few million (or billion) innocent women and children (and subsequently rot in Hell) to get to the top.
Plus not only do we now have to worry about military wars coming to our shores, apparently we now have to worry about economic wars arriving here too! My friend Judy just e-mailed me a whole laundry-list of stuff that is also wrong with Obama & Company’s foreign-policy vision — from a financial perspective. Here is just one small item on that list:
“I myself believe,” wrote Judy, “that the new multinational corporations don’t care about the US any more than they care about any other country. They have proved again and again to us that, for them, it is always and only about making money. And, bearing that reality in mind, consider that on the one hand China’s new banking initiatives could shut down the US empire if or when — and I would say when — the balance of resources shifts away from the dollar. That is what a lot of these military attacks on Russia and China have been about. But on the other hand, however, most likely it will be no problem at all for the multinationals to pivot their markets and financial bases to Asia — leaving America financially high and dry.”
But with the above-described humungous financial calamity also lapping at our shores, it probably won’t even matter whether America wins World War III — or not.
America’s current domestic and foreign policies clearly suck eggs. But why? Because these policies far-too-closely resemble my own definition of fascism/corporatism/ despotism, which is: “Instead of a country spending its government’s money to better the lives of all of its citizens equally, said government’s money is only poured into the coffers of an ‘elite’ few.”
And speaking of false flags, here are the five signs to look for:
- Horrific images are over-used to shock the public
- Drills for a similar attack appear on the same day in the same area.
- Eyewitness accounts do not match the official story
- Conflicting evidence is not repeated by the media
- Used as an excuse to curtail rights or to start a war
And while we’re still on the subject of false flags, excuse me for stating the obvious here — but with so many false flags in the American spy-craft industry having come to light again and again recently, how come 9-11 alone has become the sacrosanct hands-off Lady Madonna that can never ever be properly investigated or even mentioned in the same breath as the words “false” and “flag”?
Also with regard to false flags, let us now paraphrase philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt. “How can we ever truly gauge what dangers we are in — if we are lied to about their existence, their causes and their effects?” For this reason alone, truth is vital to every society — and history has demonstrated again and again that societies based on lies are basically doomed.
How can we Americans use good judgment in order to keep ourselves safe when we are constantly bombarded with lies about Iraq, Syria, Ebola, voting-machine data, Ukraine, weapons lobbies, our post offices, Big Pharma, GMO crops, net neutrality, nuclear safety, what really happened in Palestine, that banks are too big to fail, that Jesus hated poor people — and goodness knows what all else! We can’t even get a clear story about whether or not there is still gold in Fort Knox. And the New York Times, our most vital “newspaper of record,” is constantly getting caught out for their lies.
According to Frankfurt, unless we can reinvent ourselves as a more truthful society ASAP, then we are doomed.
The Destruction of a Nation…
“we are asked to feel guilty about men in prison. We are told how many are of particular racial groups, and this is somehow our fault, no matter how many laws these convicts violated.” R. J. Rushdoony, “Systematic Theology”, Vol. 1, pg. 464
With substantial support from biased reporting by the media we have experienced social unrest and rioting by Blacks over police infractions that have subsequently been proven false by a jury and by the Federal judicial system. In the Tryvon Martin case local authorities decided against indictment but deceptive press coverage caused enough Black outrage to force a trial. George Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury. In the Michael Brown case in spite of media-fanned riots both Federal and local authorities decided against indicting Darrin Wilson.
In both cases the neocon controlled media provided distorted and incendiary coverage designed to create a violent reaction. In both cases rather than presenting the evidence as it existed they distorted the evidence to make it seem that an atrocity had been committed. “White policeman kills unarmed Black teen” does not do justice to either event.
In an article in the “Atlantic” TA-Nehisi Coates writes ”The investigation concluded that there was no evidence to contradict Wilson’s claim that Brown reached for his gun. The investigation concluded that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back. That he did not shoot Brown as he was running away. That Brown did stop and turn toward Wilson. That in those next moments ‘several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson’. That claims that Brown had his hands up ‘in an unambiguous sign of surrender’ are not supported by the ‘physical and forensic evidence,’ and are sometimes, ‘materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time.’”
Though slave owners no longer exist in the United States the media and Black leadership is still trying to harness White Americans with guilt over slavery. Programs on slavery are frequent and any true depiction of current Black society is studiously suppressed.
We have a Black president, there are Blacks in Congress, sports at both the college and professional levels is primarily Black. Blacks have responsible high paying government jobs, they are frequently seen in all current advertising; they own businesses and many are now solidly ensconced in Middle Class and upper 1% neighborhoods. There are many loving and supportive Black families that are producing talented and upwardly mobile children.
An honest assessment of Black progress is very positive. As a race they are doing extremely well. Sadly, none of this is put forth in the press and media. Instead, we get a constant ear splitting whine about racial prejudice.
In the first volume of “Sytematic Theology” R. J. Rushdoony (RJR) writes, “Basic to all non-Christian politics are, first, a false covering, and, second, the cultivation of guilt. By cultivating guilt the state seeks to make its citizenry impotent and enslaved. A false sense of guilt, moreover, has no solution and no escape is possible from it, as long as it is held. The state then offers a false covering to that cultivated guilt: a statist program of noble ideas which in practice means the further enslavement of the people, and the increase in statist powers.” Pg. 465
Slavery and the Holocaust are salient examples of the procedure. Egregious manipulation of our government is allowed by grief over the Holocaust and preferred racial citizenship is accorded by guilt over slavery. In both cases the guilt is cultivated and in both cases it is bogus.
Christianity is dangerous to the state because Christians are freed from guilt and able to think clearly. “Guilty men are not free men: they are slaves.” (RJR)
In spite of the great progress Blacks have made there are still major problems. Shootings are part of the evening news for every major city and too often they involve Blacks shooting other Blacks. Black unemployment is part of the problem and government assistance programs share part of the guilt. The major culprit, however, is the media which extends their fraudulent news coverage by giving a bully pulpit to self-serving Black leaders with deceitful messages. The uncontrolled emotional rage, fanned by the press, ignites riots that make matters worse. Riots destroy the fabric of society. They work against freedom. It must be acknowledge that the crime rate in Black inner-city areas is several times that of similar White neighborhoods. Racial prejudice can no longer be used as an excuse. We have elected a Black President, twice; a bigoted society would not do that.
A new group of Black realists needs to sit down with their biased leadership and hammer out a just and honest program for Black citizens. There are some excellent Black pastors that would help with such a project. Blaming people, places, and things will not provide progress; it must come from the Blacks themselves.
Though they are hardly coming from a position of strength Blacks are right about policing. Major changes are needed in the behavior law enforcement. Demands by policemen that innocent citizens submit to personal indignities tarnishes their reputation; policepersons who cannot determine who needs to be handcuffed and who does not do not belong on the street. Law enforcement needs to earn a better reputation in both White and Black neighborhoods. When respect is restored compliance will follow.
It is frightening to see a line of almost automated, black garbed, heavily armored police with loaded guns marching toward a residence where civilians will be surprised by a paralyzing no-knock raid. The object is to shock with massive impregnable force and demand acquiescence. These Swat team operations grew from a small number to over 40,000 per year by the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Read here. Policing has morphed from protecting society to considering almost everyone to be an enemy.
Bad laws, too many laws, the war on drugs, and war as a way of life are all part of the problem. The Neocon hate for Christianity and their success in purging it from U. S. society has had devastating effects on behavior. We are considered a Christian nation with a population that overwhelmingly claims to be Christian but our flaccid pseudo-Christian population is governed by a satanic pagan power structure that exploits their naivety. Freedom cannot exist under devilish tyranny.
The confiscation of cash from vehicles stopped for any or no particular reason is pandemic. In some states the victims are predominantly Black but in others race is not a factor. In one county in Texas in a two year period 200 citizens were victims of confiscations. Fifty of the 200 were charged with drug possession but the remainder was never charged with a crime. In many cases the threat of being charged with a crime which would require lawyers and trips back to the area caused victims to leave the money and go free. Cash confiscations are common in many of our states.
In a small town in Northern Florida the city budget was almost entirely financed by speeding tickets issued to motorists traveling a main state highway that runs through the town. That municipal thievery has how been stopped but it continued for years.
There are times when a lawless, recalcitrant citizen must be subdued and taken into custody and there are times when such a procedure is not warranted; policepersons should know the difference.
We have allowed our police departments to become sources of revenue that is used by local politicians. Forfeiture laws and heavy fines are income streams rather than retribution for crimes. This is fraudulent; it perverts the duties of the police force and cultivates cynicism. Police are to be enforces of justice and should be filled with pride in that vocation.
The Black struggle for equality in a White society has now become a struggle for power. They have more than equal legal status but now as a minority population they seek power over the entire government by calling for the resignation of the entire leadership of Ferguson. Black riots have regularly resulted in concessions and as long as these concessions continue Black riots will continue. It is a dangerous situation when an errant press and media can create riots almost at will. The quest for power without reference to immutable justice is another form of tyranny.
American citizens are allowing manufactured guilt to be used as an excuse to create revolutionary chaos in our nation.
At the end of the “Atlantic” article TA-Nehisi Coates writes ”I do not favor lowering the standard of justice offered Officer Wilson. I favor raising the standard of justice offered to the rest of us.”
Ironman Varoufakis’s Revolutionary Plan for Europe…
“The ongoing dispute between the German and Greek governments is nothing less than a democratic revolution against German hegemony and the attempt of the Germans and their paladins in the EU to dictate Greek domestic policy.”
–Mathew D. Rose, It’s a revolution, Stupid! Naked Capitalism
“Germany is eating itself over Greece. It is eroding its moral authority, and seems prepared to destroy the eurozone’s integrity just to make a point.”
–Paul Mason, Germany v Greece is a fight to the death, a cultural and economic clash of wills, Guardian
If you haven’t been following developments in the Greek-EU standoff, you’re really missing out. This might be the best story of the year. And what makes it so riveting, is that no one thought that little Greece could face off with the powerful leaders of the EU and make them blink. But that’s exactly what’s happened. On Monday, members of the Eurogroup met with Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to decide whether they would accept Greece’s terms for an extension of the current loan agreement. There were no real changes to the agreement. The only difference was semantics, that is, the loan would not be seen as a bailout but as “a transitional stage to a new contract for growth for Greece”. In other words, a bridge to a different program altogether.
In retrospect, Varoufakis’s strategy was pure genius, mainly because it knocked the EU finance ministers off balance and threw the process into turmoil. After all, how could they vote “thumbs down” on loan package that they had previously approved just because the language was slightly different? But if they voted “thumbs up”, then what?
Well, then they would be acknowledging (and, tacitly, approving) Greece’s determination to make the program less punitive in the future. That means they’d be paving the way for an end to austerity and a rethink on loan repayment. They’d also be conceding that Greece’s democratically-elected government had the right to alter the policies of the Eurogroup. How could they let that happen?
But, then again, how could they vote it down, after all, it was basically the same deal. As Varoufakis pointed out in a press conference on Monday:
“We agree to the terms of our loan agreements to all our creditors”. And we have “agreed to do nothing to derail the existing budget framework during the interim period.”
See? It’s the same deal.
This is the conundrum the Eurogroup faced on Monday, but instead of dealing with it head-on, as you would expect any mature person to do, they punted. They put off the loan extension decision for another day and called it quits. Now maybe that was the smart thing to do, but the optics sure looked terrible. It looked like Varoufakis stared them down and sent them fleeing like scared schoolchildren.
Now, remember, Monday was the absolute, drop-dead deadline for deciding whether the Eurogroup would approve or reject the new terms for Greece’s loan extension. That means the Eurogroup’s task could not have been more straightforward. All they had to do was vote yes or no. That’s it.
Instead, they called ‘Time Out’ and kicked the can a little further down the road. It was not a particularly proud moment for the European Union. But what’s even worse, is the subterfuge that preceded the meetings; that’s what cast doubt on the character of the people running EU negotiations. Here’s the scoop: About 15 minutes before the confab began, Varoufakis was given a draft communique outlining the provisions of the proposed loan extension. He was pleasantly surprised to find that the document met all his requirements and, so, he was prepared to sign it. Unfortunately, the document was switched shortly before the negotiations began with one that backtracked on all the crucial points.
I’m not making this up. The freaking Eurogroup tried to pull the old switcheroo on Varoufakis to get him to sign something that was different than the original. Can you believe it? And it’s only because Varoufakis studiously combed through the new memo that he was able to notice the discrepancy and jam on the brakes. As it happens, the final copy was just a rehash of the same agreement that Varoufakis has rejected from the onset. The only difference was the underhanded way the Eurogroup tried to slip it by him.
Now you tell me: Would you consider people who do something like that “trustworthy”?
Of course not. This is how people behave when they don’t care about integrity or credibility, when all that matters is winning. If the Eurogroup can trick the Greeks into signing something that’s different than what they think they’re signing; then tough luck for the Greeks. “Caveat emptor”. Buyer beware. The Eurogroup has no problem with that kind of shabby double-dealing. That’s just how they play the game.
But their trickery and bullying hasn’t worked, mainly because Varoufakis is too smart for them. And he’s too charismatic and talented too, which is a problem for the EU bigwigs who resent the fact that this upstart Marxist academic has captured the imaginations of people around the world upsetting their little plan to perpetuate Greece’s 6-year long Depression. They never anticipated that public opinion would shift so dramatically against them, nor had they imagined that all of Europe would be focused laserlike on the shady and autocratic workings of the feckless Eurogroup. That’s not what they wanted. What they wanted was carte blanche to impose their medieval policies on the profligate Greeks, just like the good old days after Lehman Brothers tanked. After all, that’s how a “anti-democratic imperialist project” like the EU is supposed to work, right?
Right, except now Varoufakis and his Marxist troopers have thrown a wrench in the Eurogroup’s plans and put the future in doubt. The tide has turned sharply towards reason, solidarity and compassion instead of repression, exploitation and cruelty. In just a few weeks, the entire playing field has changed, and Greece appears to be getting the upper hand. Who would have known?
If you look at the way that Varoufakis has handled the Eurogroup, you have to admire the subtlety, but effectiveness of his strategy. In any battle, one must draw attention to the righteousness of their cause while exposing the flaws in the character of their adversary. The incident on Monday certainly achieved both. While David never really slayed Goliath, Goliath is certainly in retreat. And that’s alot better than anyone expected.
As for the “cause”, well, that speaks for itself. The Greek bailout was never reasonable because the plan wasn’t designed to create a path for Greece to grow its way out of debt and deflation. No. It was basically a public relations smokescreen used to conceal what was really going on behind the scenes, which was a massive giveaway to the banks and bondholders. Everyone knows this. Check this out from Naked Capitalism:
“According to the Jubilee Debt Campaign, 92% of €240 billion Greece has received since the May 2010 bailout went to Greek and European financial institutions.” (Naked Capitalism)
Yep, it was all just one big welfare payment to the moocher class. Meanwhile, the Greeks got zilch. And, yet, the Eurogroup wants them to continue with this same program?
As far as Greece’s finances are concerned, they’ve gotten progressively worse every year the bailout has dragged on. For example, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio has gone from 115 percent in 2010 more than 170 percent today. The country is headed in the wrong direction, which is what makes Varoufakis’s remedies so compelling. It’s because everyone knows that ‘if you are already in a hole, stop digging’. That’s the logic behind Varoufakis’s position; he simply wants to “stop digging.” But that can’t be done by borrowing more money to repay debts that only get bigger with each new bailout. And it can’t be done by implementing excruciating belt-tightening measures that increase unemployment and shrink the economy. It can only be done by reducing one’s debts and initiating programs that help to grow the economy back to health. This isn’t rocket science, but it is anathema to the retrograde ideology of the European Union which is one part bonehead economics and one part German sanctimony. Put the two together and you come up with a pre-Keynesian dystopia where one of the wealthiest regions in the world inches ever-closer to anarchy and ruin for the sole purpose of proving that contractionary expansion actually works. Well, guess what? It doesn’t, and we now have six years of evidence to prove it.
It’s worth noting that the Eurogroup hasn’t budged one inch from its original position. In other words, there really haven’t been any negotiations, not in any meaningful sense of the word. What there has been is one group of pompous blowhards reiterating the same discredited mantra over and over again, even though austerity has been thoroughly denounced by every reputable economist on the planet. Of course that doesn’t matter to the ex-Goldman swindlers at the ECB or their hairshirt counterparts in Berlin. What they want is to extract every last drop of blood from their Greek victims. That’s their game. And, of course, ultimately what they want to do is annihilate the entire EU welfare state; crush the unions, eviscerate pensions, wages and health care, and privatize everything they can get their greasy hands on. That’s the real objective. Greece’s exorbitant debts are just a means to an end, just a way to decimate the middle class in one fell swoop.
Keep in mind, the EU just narrowly avoided a triple-dip recession in the third quarter, which would have been their third slump in less than six years. How do you like that track record? It just illustrates the stunning mismanagement of the Union’s economic affairs and the incompetence of the bureaucrats making the decisions. Even so, these same leaders have no qualms about telling Greece to step in line and follow their diktats to the letter.
Can you believe the arrogance?
Fortunately, Greece has broken from the herd and set out on a new course. They’ve disposed of the mealy-mouth, sellout politicians who used to run the country and put the A-Team in their place. And, boy, are they happy with the results. Syriza’s public approval ratings are through the roof while Varoufakis has become the most admired man in Europe. The question is whether this new troupe of committed leftists can deliver the goods or not. So far, there’s reason for hope, that is, if we can agree about what Varoufakis’s strategy really is.
In earlier writings, Varoufakis said that he wants a New Deal for Greece. He said:
“Unless we have a new deal for Europe, Greece is not going to get a chance….It’s a necessary condition that the eurozone finds a rational plan for itself…. until and unless the eurozone finds a rational plan for stopping this train wreck throughout the European Union, throughout the eurozone, Greece has no chance at all.” Naked Capitalism)
Okay, so Varoufakis wants to stay in the EU, but he wants a change in policy. (Reducing the debts, ending austerity, and boosting fiscal stimulus.) But he also has more ambitious plans of which no one in Brussels, Frankfurt or Berlin seems to be aware. He wants to change the prevailing culture of the Eurozone; gradually, incrementally, but persistently. He wants a Europe that is more democratic and more responsive to the needs of the member states, but he also wants a Europe that is more united via institutions and programs that will strengthen the union. He believes that success will only be achieved if concrete steps are taken “to unify the banking system”, mutualize debt (“the Federal Government having its own debt over and above states.”) …”And thirdly we need an investment policy which runs throughout the Eurozone… a recycling mechanism for the whole thing. Unless we have these things,… I’m afraid there is absolutely nothing to avert the continuation of this slow motion derailment.” (Naked Capitalism)
So, there you have it. Nationalize the banking system, create a Euro-wide bond market, and establish mechanisms for fiscal transfers to the weaker states like we do in the US via welfare, food stamps, gov contracts, subsidies etc. to create some balance between the very rich and productive states like California and New York and the poorer states like South Dakota and Oklahoma. That’s what it’s going to take to create a viable United States of Europe and escape these frustratingly recurrent crises. Varoufakis knows this, but of course he’s not pushing for this. Not yet at least.
Instead, he’s decided to take it slowly, one step at a time. Incremental change, that’s the ticket. Just keep plugging away and building support until the edifice cracks and democracy appears.
That’s Varoufakis’s plan in a nutshell: Revolution from within. Just don’t tell anyone in Berlin.
The United States of America is no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave. It was never a Christian nation but it was infused with the burning coals of what had once been a raging fire – the coals have gone out.
First it was Japan; they made huge dents in the electronics and automobile industries and helped destroy the unions that were responsible for the vast middle class. Japanese manufacturers became wealthy by producing products cheaper and pegging the price just below domestic prices but at huge margins for themselves.
Then it was the Chinese; they slowly closed down American manufacturing by producing and shipping merchandise at a fraction of the cost of domestic goods. They destroyed American assembly workers with cheap Chinese labor and wrecked the manufacturing industry with price differentials. As the American standard of living plummets China is beginning to create a middle class.
As international competition was forced on the world’s wealthiest nation its industry began to move to lower wage nations. Countless manufacturing operations moved their entire operations to foreign soil leaving their entire American workforce jobless. A massive loss of middle class employment was a result.
As this robbery was In progress world social engineers pried open our borders and allowed our nation to be overrun by foreigners. The Mexican population in California threatens the sovereignty of the state. Many Americans are visiting doctors whose accented English is difficult to understand. Every city has wealthy Far East and Middle East immigrants driving Mercedes, Lexus, and Infinity cars. Immigrants from around the world have moved to the United States to rape the wealth that still remains.
As the standard of living deteriorates perpetual war is being used to pass oppressive laws that will make organized resistance impossible. At a cost of trillions of dollars we have been killing, maiming, and destroying property in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan. This war has gone on for over ten years. It is about power – tyranny over the nations involved.
The character of the United States of America has been irreversibly changed. It was the wealthiest and freest nation in the world. The wealth has been siphoned off to China and other third world nations and the remaining wealth is being exploited by hordes of foreign immigrants who are raping markets that were founded and developed by citizens whose ancestors lived and worked here for generations.
This massive affront to the wealth and social structure of the nation has been accompanied by a propaganda campaign that distorts and edits the news keeping the minds of our citizens filled with lies. Fraudulent dangers presented to the people have been used to pass laws that destroy their legal protection making way for the government to tyrannize, incarcerate, and annihilate at will.
Americans have forgotten that safety often results in a loss of freedom. A peaceful society needs strong deterrents to theft and violent crimes. Our jails are full because we expect our government to do what citizens themselves should do. Drug addiction and possession of drugs should be decriminalized and the frightening specter of sexual predators should be handled by local authorities. We need to clean out our jails and release prisoners who do not endanger others.
Colonial America was somewhat similar to the Wild West. Riots were frequent and ruffians were numerous. Policing was peripheral while freedom was expansive. As the nation has aged laws that seemed good for the social order have multiplied. Our people have (maybe inadvertently) allowed a desire for safety to push too far against freedom. This willingness to trade freedom for safety is to a great extent a result of a lack of religious faith. Government has used our aversion to danger and reluctance to personally confront evil to extend power over us allowing the peaceful birth of a police state.
When the government is allowed with impunity to murder its citizens as the Clinton/Reno cabal did at Waco, citizens can no longer expect to be free. Freedom cannot be sustained in a nation where men, women, and children that have not been convicted of any crime can be incinerated by their own government without massive protests from citizens.
The neocon cadre that exerts great power in America and around the world has subtlety created special classes. Blacks became a franchised race, then Jews, now, homosexuals are being crowned with special rights and a dagger is being thrust into the heart of Christianity. The Bramble men are exerting their will on people that are better and more productive than they.
R. J. Rushdoony coined the term “Bramble men” using the parable of the trees from Judges 9:15. Bramble men are power seekers. They do no productive work. They are leaches who exert their power over others who are productive. They are inferior people who cannot be trusted in word or deed. Bramble men have infiltrated the government, they manipulate the money, they seek positions of power where they can influence and control their fellow citizens. Powerful, ambitious Bramble men seek to control the world. They have no altruistic zeal; they are not interested in bettering the plight of their fellows, they seek only power. They are the Hitlers, Stalins, and Moes with expanded ambitions.
Bramble men rise to powerful positions when God’s legal structure is forsaken and replaced with the sentimental leniency of humanism. What seems right to men is often disastrous to their ultimate well-being. Justice comes from God and His word. Social confusion is directly proportional to injustice; as a society forsakes the immutable mandates of God and cleaves to the anarchic opinions of men chaos increases. The United States of America is a powerful, confused, chaotic nation that will soon encode laws on marriage that defy the created order and challenge the logic of mankind. A powerful, confused nation is a danger to the world; it cannot long endure.
Bramble men are in control of America; they control our government, press, and media. We elect some good men. They often start with good intentions. When they arrive in Washington they find the government is controlled by Bramble men who live outside its structure. Its leaders are puppets to Bramble men causing the entire organization to join the Bramble club. The United States Government no longer seeks the welfare of the nation and its citizens; instead it manipulates citizens to conform to the will of the Bramble power seekers.
Wake up America. Return to the righteousness of the One and Only God, seek His dominion and find the peace and freedom He intends for you!
I just finished reading an article by a guy who had accurately predicted the fall of the former USSR two whole years before it actually happened. However, nobody back then even believed him. “The USSR has over-extended itself and is going to collapse!” he kept telling people. But everyone who heard him just laughed.
Well. At this point in time, the USA has totally over-extended itself too. Like some addicted shopaholic set loose with questionable plastic at a shopping mall, the USA has over-charged every single one of its credit cards by at least eleven trillion dollars in order to buy its very favorite consumer product — endless war. And, in addition, the USA has also spent another ungodly number of trillions on making its uber-rich 1% even richer, and keeping its corrupt bankers happy as clams.
And so, like the former USSR back in 1991, now the USA also has nowhere to go but down either — due to its total over-extension. And you don’t even have to be a genius to do the math here. Anyone with a calculator app. on their iPhone can figure this one out. A couple hundred trillion $$$$ subtracted from zero equals what? Total collapse. This is pretty much a given at the rate that our “fearless leaders” on Wall Street and War Street are currently spreading their phony credit-card moolah around.
But what I really want to talk about here is what will actually happen to America (and to you and me) when our country suddenly does become referred to as “The Former USA”. To know that, all we have to do is look at a model already set before us — what had happened to the Former USSR after it had over-extended itself.
First, you gotta remember that ten percent of all citizens of the Soviet Union actually DIED after the USSR collapsed. Ten percent! One in ten. The old people went first. And the working poor. And the kids. That would be like having about 30 million Americans dead as a doornail because Wall Street and War Street didn’t behave themselves.
Second, a huge number of Soviet public buildings throughout Europe and Asia suddenly became “privatized” and were happily handed over to the lowest bidders — the oligarchs. But then that is happening here in the USA already. Let’s take my own downtown Berkeley post office for instance. It’s being practically given away to oligarchs even as we speak. And American schools, national parks, mineral-rich lands, public buildings and all kinds of other property that used to be held in the common interest is now not being held in the common interest any more. And when the USA becomes “Former,” this process will be speeded up even faster. Say goodbye to Yellowstone, the Statue of Liberty and your local city hall.
Third, after the former Soviet Union fell, people’s teeth began to rot for lack of dental care there. Suddenly there were no affordable doctors and dentists in Russia, a trend that has also gotten a big head-start here in the soon-to-be Former USA already. If you don’t take care of your citizens, this is what you get. Sick people and rotten teeth.
Fourth? Unemployment in Russia. Of course we already have a head-start on that one as well. But it will be getting worse. Much worse.
Fifth, the USSR’s status as a world super-power suddenly collapsed as its wounded warriors painfully wound their way back home from places like Afghanistan. The same will happen in the former USA too.
Sixth: Before its collapse, the USSR used to be a “communist” state — in the sense that only a few people at the very top made all the decisions. And now, thanks to Citizens United, the USA has already gotten that way too. We are no longer a democracy either. So in that respect too we have already started to become like the Soviets right before their big fall. And it will get even worse here after the fall of the USA as well. Our current “deep state” shadow governments will be coming out of the shadows and cesspools for sure. Can you say “President-for-Life Cheney,” boys and girls?
But actually, back during the 1950s, it was America that had been the true communist state — after WW II had reshuffled the cards, dealt new hands to working folks, given our middle class a leg up and redistributed our wealth more equally by taking it from the uber-rich and giving it to the middle class. But Reagan’s tricky re-stacking of the deck in favor of Wall Street, and Bush’s ace-up-his-sleeve gifts to War Street and sleight-of-hand tax redistribution act of 2003 soon changed all that — and our wealth was then redistributed upwards to the uber-rich once again, ending “communism” in America forever. No, they don’t call it “capitalism” without reason. The uber-rich now own all the “capital”. We don’t.
In order to return to America’s former “communistic” economic glory of the 1950s, three things need to happen. We need to go back to giving America’s middle and working classes their former leg-up tax breaks — instead of only giving a huge tax leg-up to our 1% “Soviet Commissars” only. And we need to stop stacking the deck in favor of Wall Street’s insane profit margins. And we need to shut down War Street completely. Otherwise, after the USA falls too, we also are gonna have oligarchs coming out our ears — even more than they are now.
Seventh, the USSR ruble collapsed back then — just like the dollar is now collapsing already. It’s gonna be rather tough around here when the US dollar also becomes worth diddly-squat.
Eighth, consider that wise Biblical saying, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. And then become very afraid. From Hiroshima, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa and Latin America to the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine, etc., the first thing that the USA and/or its surrogates do when they attack a country is to bomb its civilian population, take out the water supply, power plants and hospitals, and/or install a ruthless dictator. Let us just hope that the former USA will not fall into a position to be vulnerable to retaliation, that our former victims will show mercy and that “Do unto others…” will not apply to us like it did to the USSR.
And, ninth, the huge Soviet Union began to break up into smaller states and groups as it fell. That will definitely happen here too. Can’t exactly say that I will miss any of the Red States when they leave — but they will sorely miss not being part of the new American Blue States, their current life-line to prosperity. I can tell you that right now.
All the signs of the eminent collapse of the USA are already here right now, just like they were for the USSR back before 1991. Go ahead and laugh if you will, but hard times really are coming here too. The Former USA is practically upon us. We have already over-extended ourselves too deeply to rationally expect any other result. Sigh.
Let us just hope that America somehow manages to find another chess master like Putin to lead us After the Fall, and doesn’t get stuck with another drunk like Yeltsin!
15 Reasons Why Americans Think We’re Still in a Recession…
1: Wage Stagnation: Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It, Elise Gould, EPI
Economic Policy Institute:
“The hourly compensation of a typical worker grew in tandem with productivity from 1948-1973. …. After 1973, productivity grew strongly, especially after 1995, while the typical worker’s compensation was relatively stagnant. This divergence of pay and productivity has meant that many workers were not benefitting from productivity growth—the economy could afford higher pay but it was not providing it.
Between 1979 and 2013, productivity grew 64.9 percent, while hourly compensation of production and nonsupervisory workers, who comprise over 80 percent of the private-sector workforce, grew just 8.0 percent. Productivity thus grew eight times faster than typical worker compensation…” (EPI)
(Note: Flatlining wages are the Number 1 reason that the majority of Americans still think we’re in a recession.)
2: Most people still haven’t recouped what they lost in the crash: Typical Household Wealth Has Plunged 36% Since 2003, Zero Hedge
“According to a new study by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36% decline… Welcome to America’s Lost Decade.
Simply put, the NY Times notes, it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.
The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss. (chart)”
3: Most working people are still living hand-to-mouth: 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, CNN Money
“Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday.
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all…
Last week, online lender CashNetUSA said 22% of the 1,000 people it recently surveyed had less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency, while 46% had less than $800. After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more.”
4: Millennials are Drowning in Red Ink: Biggest economic threat? Student loan debt, USA Today
“Total student loan debt has grown more than 150% since 2005… We have more than $1.2 trillion of student loan debt…
And while 6.7 million borrowers in repayment mode are delinquent, the sad fact is that many lenders aren’t exactly incentivized to work with borrowers. Unlike all other forms of debt, student loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Moreover, lenders can garnish wages and even Social Security benefits to get repaid…
In 2005 student loans accounted for less than 13% of the total debt load for adults age 20-29. Today, student loans account for nearly 37% of that group’s outstanding debt. Student loan debt’s slice of the total debt pie for the age group nearly tripled! The average loan balance for that age group is now more than $25,500, up from $15,900 in 2005.”
5: Downward mobility is the new reality: Middle-Class Death Watch: As Poverty Spreads, 28 Percent of Americans Fall Out of Middle Class, Truthout
“The promise of the American dream has given many hope that they themselves could one day rise up the economic ladder. But according to a study released those already in financially-stable circumstances should fear falling down a few rungs too. The study… found that nearly a third of Americans who were part of the middle class as teenagers in the 1970s have fallen out of it as adults… its findings suggest the relative ease with which people in the U.S. can end up in low-income, low-opportunity lifestyles — even if they started out with a number of advantages. Though the American middle class has been repeatedly invoked as a key factor in any economic turnaround, numerous reports have suggested that the middle class enjoys less existential security than it did a generation ago, thanks to stagnating incomes and the decline of the industrial sector.”
6: People are more vulnerable than ever: “More Than Half Of All Americans Can’t Come Up With $400 In Emergency Cash… Unless They Borrow“, Personal Liberty
“According to a Federal Reserve report on American households’ “economic well-being” in 2013, fewer than half of all Americans said they’d be able to come up with four Benjamins on short notice to deal with an unexpected expense…
Under a section titled “Savings,” the report notes that “[s]avings are depleted for many households after the recession,” and lists the following findings:
*Among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57 percent reported using up some or all of their savings in the Great Recession and its aftermath.
*39 percent of respondents reported having a rainy day fund adequate to cover three months of expenses.
*Only 48 percent of respondents said that they would completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.
7: Working people are getting poorer: The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third, New York Times
“The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation.
Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially….“The housing bubble basically hid a trend of declining financial wealth at the median that began in 2001,” said Fabian T. Pfeffer, the University of Michigan professor who is lead author of the Russell Sage Foundation study.
The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.”
8: Most people can’t even afford to get their teeth fixed: 7 things the middle class can’t afford anymore, USA Today
“A vacation is an extra expense that many middle-earners cannot afford without sacrificing something else. A Statista survey found that this year 54% of people gave up purchasing big ticket items like TVs or electronics so they can go on a vacation. Others made sacrifices like reducing or eliminating their trips to the movies (47%), reducing or eliminating trips out to restaurants (43%), or avoiding purchasing small ticket items like new clothing (43%).
3–To pay off debt…
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “the U.S. spends about $64 billion each year on oral health care — just 4% is paid by Government programs.” About 108 million people in the U.S. have no dental coverage and even those who are covered may have trouble getting the care they need, the department reports.”
9: The good, high-paying jobs have vanished: Recovery Has Created Far More Low-Wage Jobs Than Better-Paid Ones, New York Times
“The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants.
In essence, the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. That is the conclusion of anew report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group, analyzing employment trends four years into the recovery.
“Fast food is driving the bulk of the job growth at the low end — the job gains there are absolutely phenomenal,” said Michael Evangelist, the report’s author. “If this is the reality — if these jobs are here to stay and are going to be making up a considerable part of the economy — the question is, how do we make them better?”
10: More workers are throwing in the towel: Labor Participation Rate Drops To 36 Year Low; Record 92.6 Million Americans Not In Labor Force, Zero Hedge
“For those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!
Bottom line: Unemployment has gone down because more people aren’t working and have fallen off the radar.”
11: Nearly twice as many people still rely on Food Stamps than before the recession: Food-stamp use is falling from its peak, Marketwatch
“Food-stamp use is finally moving away from the peak. At 46.1 million people, total food-stamp usage is down about 4% from its high in December 2012 of 47.8 million. Only eight states in March (the latest data available) were up from the same month of 2013.
It’s still not great news, however, considering there were 26.3 million people receiving food stamps in 2007…”
12: The ocean of red ink continues to grow: American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014, Nerd Wallet Finance
Nerd Wallet Finance:
U.S. household consumer debt profile:
*Average credit card debt: $15,607
*Average mortgage debt: $153,500
*Average student loan debt: $32,656
In total, American consumers owe:
*$11.63 trillion in debt
*An increase of 3.8% from last year
*$880.5 billion in credit card debt
*$8.07 trillion in mortgages
*$1,120.3 billion in student loans
*An increase of 11.5% from last year
13: No Recovery for working people: The collapse of household income in the US, World Socialist Web Site
“The US Federal Reserve’s latest Survey of Consumer Finances, released last Thursday, documents a devastating decline in economic conditions for a large majority of the population during the so-called economic recovery.
The report reveals that between 2007 and 2013, the income of a typical US household fell 12 percent. The median American household now earns $6,400 less per year than it did in 2007.
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances
Much of the decline occurred during the “recovery” presided over by the Obama administration. In the three years between 2010 and 2013, the annual income of a typical household fell by an additional 5 percent.
The report also shows that wealth has become even more concentrated in the topmost economic layers. The wealth share of the top 3 percent climbed from 44.8 percent in 1989 to 54.4 percent in 2013. The share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33.2 percent in 1989 to 24.7 percent in 2013.”
14: Most people will work until they die: The Greatest Retirement Crisis In American History, Forbes
“We are on the precipice of the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world. In the decades to come, we will witness millions of elderly Americans, the Baby Boomers and others, slipping into poverty.
Too frail to work, too poor to retire will become the “new normal” for many elderly Americans.
That dire prediction… is already coming true. Our national demographics, coupled with indisputable glaringly insufficient retirement savings and human physiology, suggest that a catastrophic outcome for at least a significant percentage of our elderly population is inevitable. With the average 401(k) balance for 65 year olds estimated at $25,000 by independent experts …the decades many elders will spend in forced or elected “retirement” will be grim…
The signs of the coming retirement crisis are all around you. Who’s bagging your groceries: a young high school kid or an older “retiree” who had to go back to work to supplement his income or qualify for health insurance?”
15: Americans are more pessimistic about the future, Polling Report
According to a CNN/ORC Poll May 29-June 1, 2014:
“Do you agree or disagree? The American dream has become impossible for most people to achieve.”
According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). April 23-27, 2014:
“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Because of the widening gap between the incomes of the wealthy and everyone else, America is no longer a country where everyone, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to get ahead and move up to a better standard of living.”Agree: 54%
Also, according to a CBS News Poll. Jan. 17-21, 2014. N=1,018 adults nationwide.
“Looking to the future, do you think most children in this country will grow up to be better off or worse off than their parents?”Better off: 34%
Worse off: 63%
The majority of people in the United States, no longer believe in the American dream, or that America is the land of opportunity, or that their children will have a better standard of living than their own. They’ve grown more pessimistic because they haven’t seen the changes they were hoping for, and because their lives are just as hard as they were right after the crash. In fact, according to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute poll– 72 percent of those surveyed said they think “the economy is still in recession.”
Judging by the info in the 15 links above, they’re probably right.
On Wednesday, stocks were hammered after economic data showed that the US and global economies were headed for a major slowdown. By mid-day, the Dow was down 460 points before clawing its way back to minus 173 points. It looked like the market was set for another triple-digit flogging on Thursday when the Fed stepped in and started talking-up an extension to QE3. That’s all it took to ease investors jitters, stop the meltdown and send equities rocketing back into space. By the end of Friday’s session, all the markets were back in the green with the Dow logging an impressive 263 points on the day. Here’s more background from Wolf Street:
“But just when some profusely sweating souls on Wall Street thought that the bottom was falling out, a savior appears. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard got on Bloomberg TV and pressed the red panic button (and) handed them what they wanted….That was enough.
Using declining inflation expectations as a pretext, he proposed to delay the end of QE. The Fed should continue buying $15 billion in securities a month…. it instantly turned around the markets. The spoiled brats on Wall Street were ecstatic to imagine that the Fed might continue to deliver the goodies they’ve become addicted to, and without which life seems unbearable.” (This Market is Driven by Psychology and Momentum,’ which ‘Works Really Painfully on the Way Down, Wolf Street)
For those readers who still think that the Fed doesn’t meddle in the markets: Think again. Friday’s stock surge had nothing to do with productivity, price, earnings, growth or any of the other so called fundamentals. It was all about manipulation; telling people what they want to hear, so they do exactly what you want them to do. The pundits calls this jawboning, and the Fed has turned it into an art-form. All Bullard did was assure investors that the Fed “has their back”, and , sure enough, another wild spending spree ensued. One can only imagine the backslapping and high-fives that broke out at the Central Bank following this latest flimflam.
As most people now realize, stocks haven’t tripled in the last 5 years because the economy is expanding. Heck, no. The economy is still on all-fours and everyone knows it. The reason stocks have been flying-high is because the Fed added a hefty $4 trillion in red ink to its balance sheet. Naturally, when someone buys $4 trillion in financial assets, the price of financial assets go up.
Who would’ve known?
And here’s something else to chew on: On Thursday I wrote an article titled “Stocks Plunge 460 Points on QE Exit”. Among the 2 or 3 thousand other articles on the topic in the mainstream, not one mentioned the fact that QE was set to end at the end of October. Instead, they pointed to sluggishness in Europe and China, and weaker-than-expected economic data in the US as the proximate causes of the downturn.
So let me ask you this, dear reader, if the end of QE was not the real trigger for the Dow’s 460 point bungee jump, then why did the markets do a quick 180 right after Bullard made his statement on Thursday? In fact, the media even admits that point now. Check out this article on Marketwatch on Friday titled “Bullard’s surprise suggestion of continuing QE lifts markets”:
“A comment from a hawkish Federal Reserve official on Thursday that central-bank bond buying should continue beyond its scheduled end lifted stock markets and surprised many observers.
The Federal Reserve should consider extending its bond-buying program beyond October due to the market selloff to see how the U.S. economic outlook evolves, said James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, on Thursday. …
If the economy is still as robust as I am describing it, then I think we could just end the program in December. But if the market is right, and this is portending something more serious for the U.S. economy, than the committee would have an option of ramping up QE at that point,” he said.
The S&P 500 SPX, +1.65% jumped from its session low of a 0.9% drop after Bullard’s remarks came out.” (Bullard’s surprise suggestion of continuing QE lifts markets, Marketwatch)
How do you like that? Just one word from the Fed and the markets do an immediate about-face. Now that’s power.
It’s too bad the Fed can’t put in a good word for the real economy while they’re at it. But, oh, I forgot that the real economy is stuffed with working stiffs who don’t warrant the same kind of treatment as the esteemed supermen who trade stocks for a living. Besides, the Fed doesn’t give a rip about the real economy. If it did, it would have loaded up on infrastructure bonds instead of funky mortgage backed securities (MBS). The difference between the two is pretty stark: Infrastructure bonds put people to work, circulate money, boost economic activity, and strengthen growth. In contrast, MBS purchases help to fatten the bank accounts of the fraudsters who created the financial crisis while doing bupkis for the economy. Guess who the Fed chose to help out?
Do you really want to know why the Fed isn’t going to end QE? Here’s how Nomura’s chief economist Bob Janjuah summed it up:
“I want to remind readers of a message that may be buried in the past: When QE1 ended, the S&P 500 fell just under 20% in a roughly three-month period before the QE2 recovery.
When the QE2 ended, the S&P 500 fell about 20% in a three-month period before the next Fed-inspired bounce (aided by the ECB). QE3 is ending this month…”
Is that why the Fed started jawboning QE4, to avoid the inevitable 20 percent correction?
You bet it is. But what’s odd is that stocks hadn’t even dropped 10 percent before the Fed hit the panic button. Why is that?
Could it be that they have no confidence in the market? Could it be that they know that their loosy-goosey monetary policies have inflated the biggest bubble of all time which has created a fragile, crisis prone system that can’t even withstand a measly 10 percent drop before bank balance sheets start going up in flames and the whole wobbly financial house of cards comes crashing to earth in a thud?
Of course, it is. They’re scared sh**less, which is why they dispatched bigmouth Bullard to promise investors the moon as long as they keep loading up on equities. Yellen an Co. are going to do everything in their power to keep this runaway train from going off the cliff, even if they kill us all in the process.
Now check out this blurb from Allianz ‘s chief economic adviser, Mohamed A. El-Erian, one of the few analysts who got it right:
“Due to excessive confidence in central banks, investors eagerly decoupled high market valuations from what was warranted by the sluggish fundamentals.”… That disconnect has been undermined over the last few weeks by signs that the global economy’s fundamentals are weaker than they seemed and concern that the European Central Bank will not adequately fight that continent’s economic drift…” (New York Times)
What El Erian is saying, is that, stocks are vastly overpriced given “sluggish fundamentals”. The only reason investors have been buying is because the Fed has been shoving money into the market hand-over-fist. That’s what’s kept equities airborne. But on Wednesday, investors woke up and said to themselves, “Hey, the economy’s circling the plughole, the Fed is bailing out, and I’m left with a boatload of dodgy stocks that might be worth $.30 on the dollar. Maybe I’ll get out now while I still can.” That’s why the market tanked.
So, what’s the lesson here?
The lesson is that the Fed is driving the markets. The whole “free market” trope is baloney. No one is loading up on stocks because they’re a good deal or because they think the economy is going gangbusters. Investors are buying stocks because they still believe in the power of money. They still think the Fed can pump a few more wisps of helium into the equities balloon and keep the rally going for a bit longer. And that’s why stocks surged on Friday, because, at least for now, greed still trumps fear.
But what’s the overall effect of this loony policy on the economy, or is that a fair question to ask after 6 years of falling incomes, flatlining wages, widening inequality and widespread economic stagnation?
The truth is, we already know what the impact is: The rich have gotten richer while the poor have been shunted off to tent cities, food pantries and under freeway off-ramps. Isn’t that what’s happened? Get a load of this brief summary in Friday’s WSWS:
“The richest one percent of the world’s population now controls 48.2 percent of global wealth, up from 46 percent last year, according to the most recent global wealth report issued by Credit Suisse, the Swiss-based financial services company.
Hypothetically, if the growth of inequality were to proceed at last year’s rate, the richest one percent for all intents and purposes would control all the wealth on the planet within 23 years.
The report found that the growth of global inequality has accelerated sharply since the 2008 financial crisis, as the values of financial assets have soared while wages have stagnated and declined…
The study revealed that the richest 8.6 percent of the world’s population—those with a net worth of more than $100,000—control 85 percent of the world’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 70 percent of the world’s population—those with less than $10,000 in net worth—hold a mere 2.9 percent of global wealth.
The growth in inequality is bound up with a worldwide surge in paper wealth, fueled by the trillions of dollars pumped into the financial system by central banks via zero interest rate and “quantitative easing” policies…
As the report noted, “The overall global economy may remain sluggish, but this has not prevented personal wealth from surging ahead during the past year. Driven by … robust equity prices, total wealth grew by 8.3% worldwide … the first time household wealth has passed the $250 trillion threshold.” (Richest one percent controls nearly half of global wealth, Andre Damon)
That says it all, doesn’t it? The widening chasm between rich and poor is traceable to the policies that were adopted in 2008. That’s why things are so fu**ed up, it’s because the “surge in paper wealth, fueled by the trillions of dollars pumped into the financial system by central banks via zero interest rate and “quantitative easing” policies.”
In other words, it’s all deliberate. Robbing the poor and giving to the rich is all part of the plan.
That strikes me as an important point, and one that’s worth mulling over for awhile; that crushing the middle class isn’t an accident. It’s what they want. It’s the policy.
“…that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
– James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America (1931)
The American Dream has been defined many ways by writers of both poetic and prosaic bent, but its essentials tend to involve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property, depending on your source).
The Declaration of Independence, upon which an entire nation was radically brought into existence, asserts that not only are all men created equal but that this is a “self-evident” truth. By this “unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,” a contract was agreed to, that their union would be founded on this principle. Thus, America was endowed with its dream at the moment of its conception: the freedom to succeed.
The United States has promoted a self-congratulating exceptionalism for decades, waving its Declaration and Constitution in the faces of other sovereign nations as if the latter had never considered such concepts. Our capital F “Freedom” sets us apart from the rest of the world, as the political rhetoric has repeated ad nauseam, no matter the freedoms enjoyed by democracies on almost every continent. And yet our basic freedom, the freedom to succeed, America’s contractual promise, has been shrinking for thirty years.
The freedom to succeed transcends economic systems but it is most potently expressed by capitalist gains. The ability to go “from rags to riches” is ingrained in this nation’s ethos and there is nothing intrinsically immoral about that goal. However, the current state of American inequality reveals a very real and expanding gap between the rich and poor that betrays the foundational endowment of this Union. When the freedom to succeed is denied every citizen, their equality is equally denied.
Recently, the Pew Research Center released a poll on what international citizens consider the greatest threat to the planet. Conducted between March 17 and June 5 of this year, the survey received answers from 48,643 respondents in 44 countries. In the U.S. and Europe, the growing gap between the rich and the poor was overwhelmingly considered the greatest danger to world prosperity. Over a quarter of Americans ranked “Inequality” as number one, above Religious & ethnic hatred, Pollution, Nuclear weapons and Infectious diseases.
This is hardly startling news considering that the median net worth of American households fell by 35 percent ($106,591 to $68,839) between 2005 and 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is, however, disturbing that inequality remains so prevalent five years after the Great Recession.
Capitalism is not the problem. The problem is that we have let inequality advance in this country so gradually that its obviousness is masked by its familiarity. Below, I outline eight facts about inequality in America that every American should know.
1) 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined. This ratio has been verified by Politifact and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. To put it into context, last year the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that there were over 316 million people living in the United States. That means 400 Americans have more money than over 158 million of their fellow citizens. Their net worth is over$2 trillion, which is approximate to the Gross Domestic Product of Russia.
One explanation for the vast discrepancy in wealth is the definition of “worth,” which includes everything a person or household owns. This means savings and property but also mortgages, bills and debt. Poorer households can owe so much in debt that they possess a negative net worth.
2) America has the second-highest level of income inequality, after Chile. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development studies thirty-four developed countries and ranks them both before and after taxes and government transfers take effect (government transfers include Social Security, income tax credit and unemployment insurance). Before taxes and government transfers, America ranks tenth in income inequality. After taxes and transfers, it ranks second. Whereas its developed peers reduce inequality through government programs, the United States’ government exacerbates it.
3) The current state of inequality can be traced back to 1979. After the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the gap between the rich and the poor began to narrow. For fifty years, wages differed between the upper- and working-classes, but a robust middle-class took shape and there remained ample opportunity for working-class individuals to ascend.
In his book, “The Great Divergence,” journalist Timothy Noah traced today’s inequality to the beginning of the 1980s and the widening gap between the middle- and upper-classes. This gap was influenced by the following factors: the failure of American schools to prepare students for new technology; poor immigration policies that favor unskilled workers and drive down the price of already low-income labor; federally-mandated minimum wage that has failed to keep pace with inflation; and the decline of labor unions.
4) Non-union wages are also affected by the decline of unions. The Economic Policy Institute claims that 20 percent of the growth in the wage gap between high-school-educated and college-educated men can be attributed to deunionization.
Between 1978 and 2011, union representation for blue-collar and high-school educated workers declined by more than half. This has also diminished the “union wage effect,” whereby the existence of unions (more than 40 percent of blue-collar workers were union members in 1978) was enough to boost wages in non-union jobs – in high school graduates by as much as 8.2 percent. Not only did unions protect lower- and middle-class workers from unfair wages, they also established norms and practices that were then adopted by non-union employers. Two prime examples are employee pensions and healthcare.
Today, about 13 percent of workers belong to unions, which has reduced their bargaining power and influence.
5) There is less opportunity for intergenerational mobility. In December 2011, President Obama spoke at Osawatomie High School in Kansas. He was very clear about the prospects of the poor in today’s United States:
“[O]ver the last few decades, the rungs on the ladder of opportunity have grown farther and farther apart, and the middle class has shrunk. You know, a few years after World War II, a child who was born into poverty had a slightly better than 50-50 chance of becoming middle class as an adult. By 1980, that chance had fallen to around 40 percent. And if the trend of rising inequality over the last few decades continues, it’s estimated that a child born today will only have a one-in-three chance of making it to the middle class – 33 percent.”
As refreshing as that honesty is, Obama promised no fix beyond $1 trillion in spending cuts and a need to work toward an “innovation economy.”
In a speech one month later, Obama’s Chairman of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, elaborated on the dire state of America’s shrinking middle-class. The contraction, he stated, could partially be attributed to “skill-biased technical change”: work activities that have become automated over time, reducing the need for unskilled labor and favoring those with analytical training. He also highlighted the 50 year decline in tax rates for the top 0.1 percent, increased competition from overseas workers, and a lack of educational equality for children. Poor children are denied the private tutors, college prep and business network of family and friends available to their wealthier peers, which locks them into the class they are born into.
6) Tax cuts to the wealthiest have not improved the economy or created more jobs. Krueger also revealed that the tax cuts of the 2000s for top earners did not improve the economy any better than they did in the 1990s (meanwhile, income growth was stronger for lower- and middle-class families in the 1990s than in the last forty years).
Tax rates for the top income earners in America peaked in 1945 at 66.4 percent. Following decades of gradual reductions, they have since been cut in half. During the same time, the payroll tax has increased since the 1950s and individual income tax has bounced between 40-50 percent through the present day. Conversely, corporate tax declined from above 30 percent in the 1950s to under 10 percent in 2011.
All of these tax cuts are made ostensibly to improve the economy and create jobs. However, the National Bureau of Economic Research has concluded that it is young companies, “regardless of their size,” that are the real job creators in America. Tax cuts to the wealthiest do not create jobs.
7) Incomes for the top 1% have increased (but the top 0.01% make even more). Between 1979 and 2007, the average incomes of the 1 percent increased 241 percent. Compare that to 19 percent growth for the middle fifth of America and 11 percent for the bottom fifth. Put another way, in 1980 the average American CEO earned forty-two times as much as his average worker. In 2001, he earned 531 times as much.
Average income across the 1 percent is actually stratified into widely disparate echelons. Compare the $29,840 average income for the bottom 90 percent to the $161,139 of the top 10 percent. Compare the $1 million average income of the top 1 percent to the $2.8 million of the top 0.1 percent. Yet both still pale beside the $23 million average income of the top 0.01 percent.
If those numbers seem a bit overwhelming, Politizane has created a video that illustrates this staggering inequality:
8) The majority of Congress does not feel your pain. Empowered by the Constitution to represent their constituents, United States Congress members are, for the first time in history, mostly millionaires. The 2012 financial disclosure information of the 534 current Congress men and women reveals that over half of them have a net worth of $1 million or more.
After the past seven facts it is difficult to read this last one and believe that these 268 legislators have the best interests of the remaining 99 percent at heart. But if that is too presumptuous a leap, it is not too bold to say that wealthier donors, lobbyists and special interest groups enjoy greater access to these lawmakers than the average American.
In January, Congress failed to extend emergency benefits for unemployment, leaving 1.3 million people without federal aid. Congress then went on a weeklong recess that kept them from debating the issue until the end of the month. The bill was too divisive for Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement on, though unemployment was then above 7 percent nationally.
Thankfully, the unemployed have their Congress working for them. And at $174,000 annual pay, those representatives are sure to return from their vacations committed to fresh solutions.
When I saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” during one of my interminably-long plane rides back from Syria, I liked it so much that I actually went out and bought a copy of the 1964 “Mary Poppins” Disney classic it was based on — the one with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke frolicking across the rooftops of London.
And much to my surprise, I discovered that Mary Poppins might have been one of the world’s first hippies. Who woulda thought! And what was even more amazing is that Mary Poppins was one of the first people to warn us about the dangers and perfidy of big bankers and big banks.
And fortunately for those of us living here in America one hundred years later, Elizabeth Warren has now become the new Mary Poppins — also warning us about the dangers and perfidy of big bankers and big banks.
If only Americans would start paying attention to Elizabeth Warren as much as they paid attention to Julie Andrews!
“Hey, Elizabeth!” I also want to shout on the rooftops like Dick VanDyke, “voters aren’t listening to you!” Maybe if Disney studios made a movie about you too? Then maybe voters would finally start to listen.
According to Warren, the American middle class has been absolutely decimated by the banking and credit-card lobbies.
And yet voters still keep falling for all those glossy ads and happy lies that still keep getting pro-big-bank candidates elected to the White House and Congress even though voters can clearly see that they themselves are losing their jobs, having their homes repossessed, becoming slaves to their student loans and getting ripped off bigtime by credit-card debt. But then I guess that those syrupy ads actually do prove that “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” after all.
In the heroic country of Iceland, their well-informed voters have vigorously fought back against bankster greed and have even re-written their constitution in order to make lending-bubbles and bank fraud illegal.
But in America, the opposite happens. Here in America our very own government, the very one that bank lobbyists have chosen for us to elect, is handing over billions of our very own hard-earned dollars to big banks just as fast as it can. And Congress is always writing new bankruptcy laws that favor banksters over the middle class every time. Mary Poppins would be livid, of course, but nobody else seems to even notice these days — except for Elizabeth Warren.
And even the Federal Reserve is dancing over the rooftops in glee as it too gives away our money to the banksters just as fast as it possibly can, singing “Step in Time” as gleefully hands over giant bags of taxpayers’ money to Chase, Bank of America, CitiBank and Goldman Sachs.
Plus the Senate just vetoed a bill that would have given students a break from paying up to 12% interest on their college loans too. According to Warren, “This isn’t complicated. It’s a choice – a choice that raises a fundamental question about who the United States Senate works for. Does it work for those who can hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists to protect tax loopholes for billionaires and profits for the big banks? Or does it work for those who work hard, play by the rules, and are trying to build a future for themselves and their families?”
Not to mention the hidden (and not-so-hidden) fees that banks gleefully charge us customers for no reason at all.
To try to completely understand how banksters and their toadies in Congress and the Department of Justice are robbing the rest of us blind, you just gotta watch this video of Bill Moyers interviewing bank-fraud expert Thomas K. Black. Seriously. You really should watch this: http://vimeo.com/107916659
In this video, Black describes how Obama was elected by the banking industry and how Obama has totally paid back his debt to the banksters by handing them all “get out of jail free” cards. Is being elected president really worth selling us Americans out to the banksters? Apparently so.
“There’s no threat to capitalism like capitalists,” continues Black. “They are destroying its underpinnings. And when dishonest people gain an advantage in the marketplace, bad ethics drive good ethics out. This is why we need the rule of law.” Doesn’t Thomas K. Black sound just like Dick VanDyke, er, I mean Burt the Chimney Sweep here — as Black proposes that it’s high time to sweep clean our banks.
And now let’s talk about America’s ratings on the so-called “Misery Index”. Apparently America rates higher on the misery charts now than it ever has, even back in the Great Depression — and probably even as high as did Mary Poppins’s 1910 London. Thanks a lot, banksters.
Isn’t it time that American voters finally join up with Elizabeth Warren and Mary Poppins — and tell big banks and banksters to go “fly a kite!”
PS: Speaking of money, look how much of it is being spent in the Middle East — and not here at home where it is needed!
According to a recent blog-post at thehill.com, the first official estimates of the ISIS price tag from the Pentagon showed that, “the costs of intervention between mid-June and late-August was $7.5 million per day. At that rate, the U.S. has spent $850 million on operations against ISIS as of October 8, adding up to about $2.74 billion per year. The Pentagon has since revised the estimate up to as high as $10 million per day, or $3.65 billion per year. In reality, both of those numbers are quite likely to be underestimates of what’s to come.”
Looks like the US military is just as bad as the US banksters when it comes to cleaning out America’s pocketbooks — after they both have put us to sleep with false promises and false news https://www.youtube.com/watch?
What we Americans really need to do these days is to once again take Mary Poppins’s advice and “Stay Awake”! https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Thus far this election cycle has been a dud. Hardly a sweat is broken in the rarified air of partisan politics punditry. The only consistent factor that can always be counted upon to amuse is the reams of paper wasted on the false promises and prevarication made by the esteemed party regulars. It is easy to simply blame the entrenched incumbents or the current crop of insurgents, but it goes much deeper when an entire nation remains mute in the face of the worse run and most condemnable conduct, coming out of the District of Criminals in decades. The party in power traditionally will suffer huge losses in Congress, while the gang of “pols” out of power will start contacting real estate agents within the beltway.
What passes for political news today is not even fit to wrap fish. The meat and potatoes of journalism, once upon a time, were made up of scandals. Under the protection racket department of the media government alliance, the abuse of power never reaches the point of national saturation. The Obama administration has outdone the nastiest of offenses under Lyndon Johnson and William Clinton. The Democrats in the Senate allow Harry Reid to be the sickest dictatorial tyrant in living memory.
Customarily, the party with the majority takes the blame for failures. Yet, with each new transgression and unlawful activity, the purported opposition crew of RINOs shirks their constitutional responsibility and shutter out of fear of being labeled a racist. How sad. But that is exactly the condition and lack of courage out of the GOP leadership.
One might think the Democrats just keep digging the hole deeper that they created. Then again, many partisans will look to shift blame and pin shared responsibility on the Republican deadheads in Congress. Forgotten in the fog out of foggy bottom is that Obama owns the failed policies that have been followed after five and a half years in office.
The chaos at the border is intentional. Failure to revive the economy and implement policies that favor job creation is also deliberate. Perpetuating a foreign policy based upon defiance of international law is maintained in the proud tradition of interventionist empire building. Truly this is the institutional synergism, between both parties, that steer career politicians to the dark side. Lastly, the infamous and destructive Obamacare fiasco is the apex of social engineering.
So why won’t the political establishment respond to this laundry list of malfeasance and repeal bad legislation and caustic regulation or change the direction of national policy? It is very difficult for most Americans to accept that the political class is actively working for the downfall of the country and the substitution of a constitutional republic for the dictatorship of permanent privileged elites.
What makes this faction of ruling vermin different from previous ages is that the overriding sentiment for dominance is based upon the systematic dismantling of the nation state. The façade of protecting the homeland is pure hogwash. With the rise of the internationalism culture for governance, the motivation to legislate as if a representative was a sincere patriot has evaporated.
There are not many reasons to even project an appearance of restoring an independent and self-sustaining national economy, a civilization based upon individual liberties and a society where opportunity builds a viable middle class. No, the day that politicians had sincere respect and devotion to institutions of lawful administration and beneficial programs that actually advanced the public interest are long gone.
So why do the hard core political junkies get so exercised over the latest news on how a particular race is turning? With the bipartisan gerrymandering that takes places after each census, every state gets their chance to game the election system. Since there are a small number of elections that can be described as truly competitive, the attention garnished on the few races that could be decided by greater campaign efforts, goes under the microscope.
Back in 2010 the decisive involvement of the genuine grassroots Tea Party captured the House of Representative for the GOP. How did that work out? For traditional conservatives, this freshman class made a substantial attempt to rock the floor of the chamber. Nevertheless, let no good Congressperson go left unpunished. The leadership of the do nothing and gutless Republicans, could not bring themselves to demonstrate fiscal prudence or foreign policy statesmanship.
Sorry folks, the NeoCons are still very much in control.
For this election cycle, the Senate seems to be in play by nearly all accounts. Races for a Senate seat in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Kansas are most often talked about holding the keys to the cloakroom. It is incomprehensible that majority leader Senate Harry Reid could muster even the lowest level of respect for the way he has conducted himself in the role of the perfect obstructionist. Yet, Democrat loyalists come to the rescue of his tainted honor, no matter how offensive his behavior and conduct degenerates.
Optimism that Reid will be relegated to the closet motivates discontented votes in the few States that matter. OK, even if the slimy and seedy boss of the Democrat crime syndicate gets demoted, what might be reasonably expected from a Republican majority in the Senate?
Most would expect that the remainder of the Obama Presidency will be dead in the water. Oh, how nice if that would be true. However, be prepared. For what you have already seen from this pathological liar and pretender, who have more in common with Mobutu the African despot, may well foretell an explosive ending.
The nihilism and the mental illness that marks the behavior of this egomaniac gives little reason to think that anything will restrain his one man one rule arrogance. If you watched the blushing admiration that Barry Soetoro showered on the biggest crook that even headed up the Department of Injustice, Eric Holder; you know that this psychotic president flaunts his disgust for America, has more insults left to inflict.
The fact that Republican representatives had no stomach to impeach this madman illustrates the nature of the existential problem that plagues the very foundation of legitimacy and threatens the civil liberties of every honest citizen.
Would a GOP Senate interject backbone into the jelly spines of the legislature branch and commence a revival of in an era of “good government”? Excuse me again, only the dreamers believe that an ethical administration can and will emerge, when morality in its most basic application, is almost nonexistent in the popular culture and the secular society.
Back in the ancient days of the network news monopoly, the three broadcast organizations would sometimes pool their resources to access the same voter count. Tallying ballots always presented the risk of voter fraud. Now, the projection and predicting prognostications are so much more refined. Voter scams are so advanced, using electronic machines to program in the results that only a Boss Tweed could fully appreciate.
Ah, just knowing the time wasted on campaigning is reward enough for those who rate congressional candidates lower than your latest terrorist splinter group. The suspense for the 2014 season better start to build soon or the media moguls will need to invent a different realty show to stage.
Maybe a slight threat of citizen participation could have a remote chance to influence the results in a primary run, but that time has passed. Tuesday, the 4th of November has all the making of another day of shame. Not because there is no qualified champion to support, you already know that to be the case. But for the reason that the likelihood that if a “good” person could be elected, merely means that he or she will be destroyed by the professional caste of political untouchables.
Play ball or your days are numbered. That’s the game and what better chamber exemplifies the experience of blackmail than the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body”.
If some stubborn and obstinate reformer sticks to their guns, just bring in the NSA for the maximum level of authoritarian extortion.
By now you should all be psyched up for making your X. Soon the latest round of illegal invaders will be getting their identity credentials and drive on over to the booth to pick their macho man official. How many more of these futile elections will it take before the pretense of voting will be just as silly as those candidate projected appearances of being a trustworthy representative of the populace?
This year’s Election Day recommendation has not changed. Show up, be vocal, express your disgust, vote third party or make a point that none of the above is your real selection. The charade of a loyal opposition to the party in power has never been so clear for even the densest “true believer” to come to their senses.
Little ever changes for the good and nothing actually reverses the direction towards national suicide. The reason is clear, it is the plan and every system is firing on all cylinders. The rest of the Obama term is poised to have deceased Americans turning in their graves. For those who claim they are still alive, prove it – show your outrage.