Our Protected, Predatory Oligarchy: Dirty Secrets, Dirty Lies

If you want to understand why the status quo is unraveling, start by examining the feudal structure of our society, politics and economy. The predators reckon their aristocratic status in Hollywood/D. C. grants them a feudal-era droit du seigneur (rights of the lord) to take whatever gratifications they desire from any female who has the grave misfortune to enter their malefic orbit. The revelations coming to light about Hollywood Oligarch Harvey Weinstein perfectly capture the true nature of our status quo: a rotten-to-the-core, predatory, exploitive oligarchy of dirty secrets and dirty lies protected by an army of self-serving sycophants, servile toadies on the make and well-paid legal mercenaries. Predators aren’t an aberration of the Establishment; they are the perfection of the Establishment, which protects abusive, exploitive predator-oligarchs lest the feudal injustices of life in America be revealed for all to see. Anyone who protests or makes efforts to go public is threatened by the oligarch’s thugs and discredited/smeared by the oligarch’s take-no-prisoners legal mercenaries. (Recall the Clintons’ Crisis Management Team tasked with crushing any Bimbo Eruptions, i.e. any eruptions of the truth about Bill’s well-known-to-insiders predation of the peasantry.) The dirty secret is that the oh-so-hypocritical power elites of Hollywood and Washington D. C. circle the wagons to protect One of Their Own from being unmasked. The first weapons of choice in this defense are (as noted above) threats from thugs, discrediting the exploited via the oligarchy’s paid goons and lackeys in the mainstream media and dirty lies about what a great and good fellow the oligarch predator is. The last line of defense is a hefty bribe to silence any peasant still standing after the oligarchs’ onslaught of threats, smears and lies.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on MONDAY, OCTOBER 09, 2017.

Fake News: The Collapse of the MSM’s ‘Facebook Russian Bot’ Story

As 21WIRE said last year, the Russian hacking, or Russiagate story was a political hoax from the start. What this story can now demonstrate, is that for the last 18 months, the entire mainstream media has been promulgating a highly politicised, and relentless campaign of fake news designed to implicate Russia in an imaginary scandal. Leading the pack are former ‘papers of record’ The New York Times and The Washington Post, flanked by America’s premier broadcast TV propaganda outlet CNN.
Last week, we revealed how powerful politicians in Washington had pressured Facebook executives to come up with any evidence to support the Democratic Party’s theory of ‘Russian meddling,’ – demonstrating clear collusion between the Obama Administration and Silicon Valley corporation Facebook, with the goal of fabricating a scandal in order to scapegoat Vladimir Putin and the Russians for the electoral collapse of Hillary Clinton last November.
As a result, US-Russian relations have been sacrificed at the altar of petty partisan politics and a failing deep state agenda.
It certainly begs the question: with so much at stake, why would Washington and MSM lie and risk pushing global tensions closer to a world war level confrontation? If they are prepared to lie about this, what else are they prepared to lie about?
Consortium News Exclusive: The U. S. mainstream media is determined to prove Russia-gate despite the scandal’s cracking foundation and its inexplicable anomalies, such as why Russia would set up a Facebook ‘puppies’ page.
By Robert Parry
What is perhaps most unprofessional, unethical and even immoral about the U. S. mainstream media’s coverage of Russia-gate is how all the stories start with the conclusion – ‘Russia bad’ – and then make whatever shards of information exist fit the preordained narrative.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 5, 2017.

NCAA Violations Are Now Federal Crimes?

Recent federal criminal charges of conspiracy and wire fraud brought against four assistant college basketball coaches and executives from Adidas seem to be popular in the mainstream media, judging from the numerous articles I have seen about the story. For that matter, even some libertarians, noting their belief that college sports are ‘corrupt,’ are cheering on federal authorities.
I am not one of the cheerleaders for this latest intrusion of federal criminal law into what essentially is peaceful, private activity, National Collegiate Athletic Association rules aside. While most journalists seem to see this as an example of federal authorities riding in on their white horses to save college basketball from the scourge of ‘corruption,’ I see this as the government destroying lives for no good reason and protecting the sources of the real corruption at the same time. Far from ‘cleaning up’ major college sports, this is a classic bait-and-switch operation in which federal authorities are conspiring to redirect resources from those that should have it (if we actually hold to the belief that individuals should be compensated for their contribution of added wealth to the economy), all the while claiming they are ‘protecting’ the very people being robbed.
As Gary North recently pointed out, the NCAA is a cartel – a multi-billion-dollar cartel, I would add – that claims to be protecting the ‘holy’ principle of ‘amateur athletics.’ All the while, it’s ensuring that the main factor of production for collegiate sports – the labor of individual collegiate athletes – receives minimal or even no compensation at all. The current compensation scheme – athletic ‘scholarships’ for athletes – is tantamount to a rule that states that Kevin Durant, the 2017 Most Valuable Player for the National Basketball Association, can receive compensation only equal to that of the lowest-paid player in the NBA, while NBA coaches and executives run off with the majority of the funds generated by professional basketball.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 2, 2017.

Dear Jamie Dimon: Predict the Crash that Takes Down Your Produces-Nothing, Parasitic Bank and We’ll Listen to your Bitcoin “Prediction”

This is the begging-for-the-overthrow-of-a-corrupt-status-quo economy we have thanks to the Federal Reserve giving the J. P. Morgans and Jamie Dimons of the world the means to skim and scam the bottom 95%. Dear Jamie Dimon: quick quiz: which words/phrases are associated with you and your employer, J. P. Morgan? Looting, pillage, rapacious, exploitive, only saved from collapse by massive intervention by the Federal Reserve, the source of rising wealth inequality, crony capitalism, privatized profits-socialized losses, low interest rates = gift from savers to banks, bloviating overpaid C. E. O., propaganda favoring the financial elite, tool of the top .01%, destroyer of democracy, financial fraud goes unpunished, free money for financiers, debt-serfdom, produces nothing of value to society or the bottom 99.5%. Jamie, if you answered “all of them,” you’re correct. The only reason you have a soapbox from which you can bloviate is the central bank (Federal Reserve) saved you and your neofeudal looting machine (bank) from well-deserved oblivion in 2008-09, and the unprecedented, co-ordinated campaign by global central banks to buy trillions of dollars of bonds and stocks.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2017.

SYRIA: UN Agencies’Systematic Campaign of Disinformation may Constitute War Crime

Tim Anderson
21st Century Wire
In mid 2012, as foreign jihadists poured into Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon authorised replacement of the Special Mission on Syria (UNSMIS) with a Geneva-based ‘Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria’ (IICOIOS), co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd and Brazilian Paolo Pinheiro.
Unlike UNSMIS, led by Norwegian General Robert Mood and based in Syria, the IICOIOS was based in Geneva, never visited Syria and was deeply compromised by its link to US diplomacy and its reliance on jihadist sources. The US Government, by then, was arming anti-government jihadist groups in Syria. Ban had thus embedded a deep conflict of interest in a nominally ‘independent’ UN agency.
The Abuzayd-Pinheiro group, joined by Italian lawyer Carla del Ponte, issued a series of distant reports which echoed western war propaganda against Syria. Notable amongst these were reports on the 2012 Houla massacre, a report on the 2016 liberation of Aleppo, and a recent report which seeks to blame a series of chemical weapons attacks in 2017 on the Syrian Government. Carla del Ponte, in a better moment, revealed in mid 2013 that the first use of sarin gas in Syria was by Jabhat al Nusra. But none of this appeared in the group’s reports.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 11, 2017.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: The Situation In The Markets Is Much Worse Than You Realize

It’s about time that I share with you all a little secret. The situation in the markets is much worse than you realize. While that may sound like someone who has been crying ‘wolf’ for the past several years, in all honesty, the public has no idea just how dire our present situation has become.
The amount of debt, leverage, deceit, corruption, and fraud in the economic markets, financial system, and in the energy industry are off the charts. Unfortunately, the present condition is even much worse when we consider ‘INSIDER INFORMATION.’
What do I mean by insider information… I will explain that in a minute. However, I receive a lot of comments on my site and emails stating that the U. S. Dollar is A-okay and our domestic oil industry will continue pumping out cheap oil for quite some time. They say… ‘No need to worry. Business, as usual, will continue for the next 2-3 decades.’
I really wish that were true. Believe me, when I say this, I am not rooting for a collapse or breakdown of our economic and financial markets. However, the information, data, and facts that I have come across suggest that the U. S. and global economy will hit a brick wall within the next few years.
How I Acquire My Information, Data & Facts
To put out the original information in my articles and reports, I spend a great deal of time researching the internet on official websites, alternative media outlets, and various blogs. Some of the blogs that I read, I find more interesting information in the comment section than in the article. For example, the Peakoilbarrel.com site is visited by a lot of engineers and geologists in the oil and gas industry. Their comments provide important ‘on-hands insight’ in the energy sector not found on the Mainstream Media.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on SEPTEMBER 9, 2017.

NOT JUST SYRIA: 5 HUGE NEWS STORIES TO KEEP AN EYE ON AMID THE MADNESS

The world’s eyes and ears have once again turned toward Syria following last week’s chemical weapons attack and U. S. President Donald Trump’s subsequent air strikes on the Assad government. Mainstream media, independent media, and social media platforms are fixing fierce attention on the ongoing developments.
These events undoubtedly deserve widespread, ongoing scrutiny. From the United States government’s lack of evidence that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attack to the media’s complicity in driving a pro-war narrative and president Trump’s hypocrisy in bombing Syria – after criticizing former president Barack Obama for doing the same thing – further critical analysis of the recent airstrikes is vital.
But even as skepticism toward these events should remain heightened, so should awareness of countless other major developments. Here are five to follow:
1. Trump Appoints Pharmaceutical Consultant to Head the FDA – This week, the president appointed Scott Gottlieb, a pharmaceutical industry insider who has served the boards of multiple pharmaceutical companies, to chair the Food and Drug Administration. Gottlieb currently still works as a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline. He has received $414,000 from GSK, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. He has also received tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Mikart, as well as other corporations – including Goldman Sachs. He has taken several trips through Washington’s revolving door, with brief stints at the FDA mixed in with multiple positions consulting pharmaceutical companies. Trump’s pick follows in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who also appointed a pharmaceutical industry insider to chair the FDA.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on APRIL 11, 2017.

Why Special Interests Sacrifice the Future for Short-Term Gain

The special interests that dominate politics dominates to produce a form of economic warfare. The more some can manipulate the political machinery, the more they can feather their own nests. They even use similar propaganda techniques.
In wartime, we are always defined as the good guys, ennobled by our moral cause. “They” are the bad guys, to be demeaned and dehumanized, so few will be bothered by what is done to them. Similarly, in domestic politics, representatives of each group paint themselves as particularly worthy or needy, making their advocacy morally superior, contrasted with their opponents whom they tar as selfish or unprincipled.
However, advocates for such causes do not always occupy the moral high ground they try so hard to create. They advocate coercing those who have done no harm to others to justify it. Further, the policies proposed often benefit existing members of a group, but harm those who will be members of that group in the future.
In such cases, justifying the political plunder to deliver a group’s demands because they are particularly deserving is self-contradictory. If membership in a group justifies special treatment, the same must apply to future members as well. Therefore, policies that benefit current members, while harming equally deserving future members, necessarily violate their own rationale.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 3, 2017.

Correcting a Few ThingsTaken from the Mainstream Media…

There is a certain nagging annoyance that one gets when they see something in print that they know is just wrong, and write response to it, with documentation, in order to correct it.
And then for whatever cause including fat-fingered error, the comment is moderated into oblivion. If it was an opinion piece then fine. Opinions are not worth all that much. But if it is a straight up factual correction, that is a bit annoying when the original in the media was designated to reinforce some point that one feels is a bit unjust.
So here are two recent example of things that were just wrong that appeared without correction in the mainstream media.
From Jeri-Lynn Scofield over at Naked Capitalism who picked up this piece in the NY post:
Snooki inspires legislation to limit state university speaker fees NY Post. Moi: Speaking as a born and bred Jersey girl, I applaud the state legislature’s action. Nice to see the state of my birth lead the way in something other than corruption or toxic waste. And about time – $32K to hear Snooki speak at the Rutgers commencement? Are the administrators nuts? And the proposed $10k cap is too high. Why should any speaker receive more than expenses and a modest honorarium, e.g., $1K – which incidentally, anyone with any class would immediately donate back to the university.
I don’t normally read the Post, except perhaps for financial pieces by John Crudele, so I was glad to see this at a site where I do read on occasion.
This is no knock on Jeri=Lynn whose major point remains intact, that commencement fees may be far too generous.
And as an old fogey, it seems to me to be a correct sentiment about paying far too much money and attention to these reality tv stars, our current President notwithstanding.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 26 MARCH 2017.

All Washington blames Putin and calls for investigations of Russian villainy: John Batchelor interviews Stephen F. Cohen

The character of events from week to week, and as discussed by both Batchelor and Cohen, is manifestly worsening. While the proxy wars are stabilizing to some little extent, we see the political wars in governments as fall out of the New Cold War in a constant state of escalation. Cohen notes a New York Times piece by Charles Blow that coined a name for what is happening as an ‘Era of Suspicion’ and the author considered this a positive thing for the country – where all the interest groups are being forced by the hate and fear campaign to align with the anti-Russian narrative whether it serves their interests or not. This past week Batchelor brings up the news about the Estonian Ambassador, Eerik Marmei and the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pavlo Klimkin who spoke to a Senate subcommittee about Russia disrupting elections in Europe, and the danger of cyber warfare by Russia. Also mentioned were the Trump charges that Obama had his Trump Tower ‘bugged’. Cohen then launched into what the consequences of this new ‘Era of Suspicion’ and the professor describes how the pressure to conform has influenced all the politicos (Flynn debacle) and the masters of industry in the United States, who want to have business dealings with Russia, into remaining cautiously silent. These and other efforts are being used to isolate Trump and neuter or redirect any chance of dtente or even honest discussion of serious geopolitical events. It is working too – with Republicans also becoming divided. Some Republicans are looking at Vice President Pence for the president’s position.
Cohen also discusses the role of ‘expert consultants on Russia’ in the media and their efforts to vilify Putin and the Kremlin. All interviews using these people are factually untrue. The most egregious of these, for example, maintained that Putin was ‘deliriously happy that Washington was in complete chaos over Russian policies’. Batchelor exclaims that this is ‘complete rubbish’. It was also Batchelor’s opinion that it was serious that Trump did not mention Russia in his address to Congress. What this indicates is that dtente is getting much less likely. Cohen also mentions the resurrection of McCarthyism with a Committee of Un-American Activity being formed and concludes that disorder is the contrived tenure of modern Western diplomacy. In my opinion Trump has to decide whether folding to the will of his opposition will stop this campaign to remove him or will it show weakness that will lead to escalation. His reticence to talk about Russia may be testing the waters, or be showing weakness. Senator Graham, who talked with the president, seems to think the latter and the US will ‘push back’ against Russia. I think Trump is folding too.
The push back will see more support for NATO and perhaps more military help for Ukraine. Cohen discusses the quasi NATO presence now in Ukraine, and he also brings up a potential increase in US troop presence in Syria. He discusses the dangers of a combined military presence of US and Russian assets in Syria. Cohen then discusses the simple solution to ease the danger, and it really is simple. Disengagement. But Putin needs Washington (Trump) to cooperate. But Cohen now considers this as unlikely as he thinks Trump is folding to his opposition in Washington. In Ukraine the political and economic situation is worse and where President Poroshenko is having no control over the ukronazis – who are now embargoing coal imports from the Donbass. This hurts Kiev, but also illuminates the reality of a failing central government. A personal question: Will NATO continue to base troops there? It would mean contending with or working with nazis in a failed state environment? But would most of the West hear about it? That’s where we are, living behind a virtual information wall that George Orwell would immediately recognize.
From my point of view the Military Industrial Complex has shown no sense of danger in supporting a ‘confrontation for profit’ policy against Russia, and now the people of the West are effectively ‘walled off’ from learning about critical realities by a systemic corruption of the MSM. Washington is creating its own “Iron Curtain”. Not even discussions at the highest levels of Washington are tolerated unless they support the narrative. One wonders how long this can go on with the Military Industries dependent on tax dollars, and the financial sector and other interests looting the economy and destroying that same tax base. This becomes another reason to impose that ‘Era of Suspicion’ on the whole country; if one cannot advise or discuss an argument against war dangers (or government policies) without censure, then war becomes more inevitable in spite of the fundamentals that work against it. One could say, ‘unleash the dogs of war’ but first hugely increase the fiscal deficit.

This post was published at Audioboom

TRUMPDOM: The Curious World of Trump’s Foreign Policy Explained

It is barely seven weeks since Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. Perhaps too early to figure out the details of America’s foreign policy during his presidency. However, some broad contours of his policies are taking shape, which may provide pointers to what he is likely to do in the next four years.
These pointers are based partly on what Trump said during his election campaign and partly on what has happened since he became President. Actually, quite a lot has happened in the last seven weeks or so, including considerable turbulence in US domestic and foreign policy.
Before proceeding further, it may be useful to recall that Trump’s victory in the Nov. 2016 elections was unexpected. Most opinion polls and the mainstream media (MSM) predicted victory for Hillary Clinton, who was the candidate of the US Establishment and the ‘Deep State’ (DS), which includes the military-industrial complex, the intelligence agencies, the MSM, Wall Street, and the Jewish Lobby.
The DS is a permanent, unelected, group of institutions, lobbies, and individuals which wields enormous power from behind the scenes and continues to do so irrespective of who is the President and which party controls the US Congress. It is driven by the quest for money and power, among other things.
The present DS began taking shape almost thirty-five years ago when Jimmy Carter was President. There was a DS before that too, going back to the 1950s, which came into existence after the Second World War. However, it was much less powerful and entrenched than the present one. John F. Kennedy tried to defy it but did not succeed. Some believe he paid for it with his life.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on MARCH 9, 2017.

The Globalist Long Game – Redefine Liberty Activism As Evil “Populism”

One of the most favored propaganda tactics of establishment elites and the useful idiots they employ in Marxist and cultural-Marxist circles is to relabel or redefine an opponent before they can solidly define themselves. In other words, elites and Marxists will seek to ‘brand’ you (just as corporations use branding) in the minds of the masses so that they can take away your ability to define yourself as anything else.
Think of it this way: Say you want to launch an organization called ‘Movement Blue,’ and you and others have gone through great struggle to grow this organization from the ground up. However, just as your movement is about to achieve widespread recognition, someone else comes along, someone with extensive capital and media influence, and they saturate every outlet with the narrative that your movement is actually more like ‘Movement Red,’ and that Movement Red is a terrible, no-good, bad idea. They do such a good job, in fact, that millions and millions of people start calling you ‘Movement Red’ without even knowing why, and they begin to believe all the negative associations that this label entails.
Through the art of negative branding, your enemy has stolen your most precious asset – the ability to present yourself to the public as you really are.
Negative branding is a form of psychological inoculation. It is designed to close people’s minds to particular ideas before they actually hear those ideas presented by a true proponent of the ideas. But beyond that, negative branding can also be used to trick groups and movements into abandoning their original identity.
For example, the concept of economic freedom for individuals – the freedom from overt government interference or government favoritism for certain people over others, the freedom to compete with ideas and ingenuity to build a better business and a better product, the freedom to retain the fruits of one’s labor – used to be widely referred to as ‘free markets’, as defined by Adam Smith. The very basis of free market philosophy was to remove obstruction and economic oppression from the common man in order to inspire a renaissance in innovation and prosperity. The problem is, you rarely hear anyone but libertarians talk about traditional “free markets” anymore.
Though Karl Marx did not coin the term ‘capitalism,’ he and his followers (and editors) are indeed guilty of the pejorative version now used. It has always been Marxist propagandists who have sought to redefine the idea of ‘free markets’ in a negative way, and the use of the term capitalism is how they did it. They have been so effective in their efforts that today even some free market proponents instead refer to themselves as ‘capitalists.’

This post was published at Alt-Market on 15 February 2017.

Trump Team Slams Buzzfeed, CNN’s “Sad, Pathetic Attempt To Get Clicks” – Press Conference Live Feed

Update: Things started off angry…“For all the talk lately about ‘fake news,’ this political witchhunt by some in the media…is frankly shameful & disgraceful…. Highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog… to drop highly salacious and flat out false information on the Internet.”
*SPICER SAYS BUZZFEED REPORT IS DANGEROUS, HAS `FALSE’ INFO *TRUMP AIDE SPICER: REPORT A SAD, PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO GET CLICKS *PENCE SAYS `CONCERTED EFFORT’ BY SOME IN PRESS TO DELEGITIMIZE As we detailed earlier, in what is sure to be a fiery event, Trump is set to host his first press conference since being elected President at 11AM EST this morning. Will today’s press conference be another political “rick-roll,” as CNN’s furious Jake Tapper described his last event at Trump International Hotel in Washington D. C., or will the anxious mainstream media finally get their shot at peppering Trump with questions about Russia, conflicts of interest and/or whatever the other “fake news” de jour is? Given that Trump outsmarted the media at pretty much every turn during the 2016 campaign cycle, we have our guess as to who will emerge victorious after today’s event.


This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 11, 2017.

Confessions Of A Fake News Reporter

‘A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.’ ~ Mark Twain
I write for those so-called ‘fake news’ websites. You know the ones: the 200 odd deplorable websites, the ones Hillary, the Pope and Michael Moore have attacked as threatening to destroy World Peace, Democracy, Facebook and the Mainstream Media (MSM).
I only write for a handful of them, sad to say, although I’ve been linked to scores more. One of my recent columns went viral and it probably swayed the entire election – for better or worse: Before Trump, Sen Bulworth Spoke Truth To Power . Seriously, the blatant corruption of the losing team, from Super Delegates to Podesta and PizzaGate to hidden Hillary health issues and secret sums of money funneling through the Clinton Foundation in ‘Pay to Play’ accusations cost them the election, despite the best efforts and endorsements of the entire American media.
I’ve written for Rense, Counterpunch, Antiwar and Zerohedge. Most of my best stuff appears here on Strike The Root first, or STR as we call it, a website where Henry David Thoreau rather than Mark Zuckerberg is our moderator. Tragically, STR did not appear on ProporNot and we are devastated, absolutely devastated. Not.
Sometimes I ask my friends: If knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss, which is preferable? I always hope someone will respond, as Socrates or Obi Wan would have: Knowledge of our ignorance is power; bliss in this age is unattainable.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 7, 2017.

INTEL CHIEF: TRUTHFUL REPORTING ON US CORRUPTION IS PART OF RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY – HINTS AT ‘ACT OF WAR’

Outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee the campaign to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump did, in fact, involve Russian government-coordinated hacks, but,
‘Hacking was only part of it. It also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, and fake news.’
This heavy-handed and ‘multifaceted Russian campaign’ attempted to undermine the United States, Clapper asserted, and – although these Russian hackers did not manage to infiltrate any voting machines or tamper with the vote count – there would be no way for the U. S. Intelligence Community to assess the total impact on the election. Stopping a hair’s breadth from calling this campaign an act of war, Clapper posited,
‘Whether or not that constitutes an act of war. I think, is a very heavy policy call that I don’t think the intelligence community should make’ – and then added, ‘It certainly – would carry, in my view, great gravity.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JANUARY 6, 2017.

The Obama Legacy: ‘Crippling Debt, Massive Unemployment, Welfare-based Society, Deteriorated Infrastructure, Massive Inflation, And A Worthless Fiat Currency’

Rapacity performed by an outgoing Democratic president is intentionally downplayed or simply ignored by the mainstream media. We saw such unbridled rapacity in the atavistic way the Clintons left the White House when they departed in 2000. They stole and/or vandalized furniture and furnishings of the White House and left it in a deplorable state. From a perspective of his official actions, Bill Clinton did things such as pardon Tommy Rich and closed a few loopholes to ensure his Clinton Foundation deals did not fall apart after he surrendered the Oval Office.
The Obamas are not following suit in the manner of the Clintons with pillaging the White House for three reasons. Firstly, although he committed dozens of offenses that would have merited it, Obama was not impeached, whereas Clinton was. For those who may hold askance with the conditions of impeachment for Obama, let us remember that under the parameters of the National Defense Authorization Act and the tenets of more than half a dozen overlapping executive orders, the United States (and the world) were ‘redefined’ as a ‘battlefield’ in the war on terror. The emergency status has never been lifted: that status was affirmed and inculcated under the Bush administration shortly after 9/11 that categorized us as being in a state of war (against terrorism) and a continuous state of emergency.
Under such ‘wartime’ conditions, the words of Obama in 2012 were clearly treasonous and constituted an impeachable offense.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 30th, 2016.

Recovering America’s History of Progressive Populism

The elites’ toadies, lackeys, shills, sycophants, water-carriers and apologists are desperately hyping the context-free, historically ignorant narrative that “populism leads to autocracy” to protect the existing autocracy of the elites.
There is only one narrative in the mainstream media about populism: it destroys democracy and leads straight to fascism. This is an ignorant and false narrative. Here’s a typical example of the mainstream anguish that the elites’ preferred narratives are falling apart because they’ve left the bottom 95% behind: How Democracies Fall Apart: Why Populism Is a Pathway to Autocracy
Granted, this is an international context for populism, but this is no excuse for overlooking America’s history of progressive populism. Are the “experts” beating the drum that populism inevitably leads to autocracy so poorly educated about American history that they don’t know that populism can be powerfully progressive, or are they being willfully blind to serve their elitist masters?
It’s time we recover America’s history of progressive populism. It’s awfully easy for elites and their toadies (witting or unwitting) to dismiss the citizenry who reject elitist narratives as “deplorables,” just as it is easy for them to dismiss populist resistance to their control as being “undemocratic.”

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on DECEMBER 15, 2016.

Chinese Newspaper General Manager Mysteriously Falls To His Death

While the US has been bombarded by the artificial, mainstream media-fabricated concept of “fake news” for the past month, a strawman erected in an attempt to impose creeping limits on free speech and eliminate any outlet that does not comply with the government narrative and is accused of being “Russian propaganda”, China does not need to beat around the bush. Instead, it has shortcuts, like newspaper editors unexpectedly “falling” to their death.
Case in point: Liu Jiandong, the general manager the 21st Century Business Herald, a major Chinese newspaper group that has been in trouble with the government for alleged blackmail and corruption, mysteriously “fell to his death on Monday”, the newspaper said.
The 21st Century Business Herald carried a short statement on its official microblog from publisher 21st Century Media Ltd saying 21st Century Media’s general manager, Liu Jiandong, had fallen from a building and died despite efforts to save him. As Reuters adds, Liu took up his job in January 2015, which he was dedicated to, and was “upright and honest”, the paper said, adding an investigation was going on. In a “suicide” that was a carbon copy of the death of Monte Paschi’s David Rossi, the police in the southern city of Guangzhou, where the newspaper is based, said it had responded to a call about a man “falling from an office building.” Police only identified him by his family name, Liu, and said he was a company general manager.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 13, 2016.

Ten Electoral College Electors Want Briefing On “Russian Interference” Before Presidential Vote

In our initial take on the Washington Post’s story about the “secret” CIA assessment that Russia helped Trump win the election (since contested by the FBI), we said that this may amount to nothing short of a “soft coup” attempt by leaders in the US Intel community and the Obama administration, and warned to expect of a push by prominent democrats to pressure the electoral college to “take into consideration” these findings next Monday, on December 19, when the formal vote for president is set to take place.
This is how we summarized the newly-formed narrative:
Announce “consensus” (not unanimous) “conclusion” based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20. Put a proven liar – James Clapper – in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking. Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption. Fail to mention that if hacking was done by or for US government to stop Hillary, blaming the Russians would be the most likely disinformation used by US agencies. Expect every pro-Hillary lapdog journalist – which is virtually all of them – in America will hyperventilate (Twitter is currently on fire) about this latest fact-free, anti-Trump political stunt for the next nine days.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2016.

Krugman’s Latest Twitter Meltdown Lays Out Democrats’ Next Steps

So we'll have a president who lost the pop vote by 2.1%, got in thanks to FBI and Putin. And supporters will demand respect. Um, no.
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) December 10, 2016

In our initial take on the WaPo report of a “secret” CIA assessment, according to which Russia, without a shred of evidence, helped Trump win the election (it remains unclear just how Putin “hacked” several hundred thousands Rust Belt workers into believing Hillary Clinton would offshore their jobs), we summarized in five point how this was nothing short of a “soft coup” attempt by leaders of the US Intel community and Obama administration to influence the Electoral College vote. To wit:
Announce “consensus” (not unanimous) “conclusion” based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20. Put a proven liar in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking. Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2016.