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.
‘During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.’ – George Orwell, Visionary Author Now that the rigged election circus is finally behind us and the United States as a fake democracy has been exposed as a complete fraud, along with its criminally complicit, fake mainstream media news predicting Hillary would be the next president, with a vengeance the elite has accelerated its war against internet alternative news as the one and only closest source of truth left available to the global masses. For ducking out from taking any honest responsibility for every scandal or shortcoming throughout her long, anything but ethical public life, Hillary Clinton’s M. O. has always been to rail against ‘the vast right-wing conspiracy’ as her nemesis. Her election loss is no different. In all the frenzied post-election finger-pointing, puppet-in-chief Obama, his anointed, would-be successor Hillary and their MSM whores are acting as the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, launching a campaign to ‘expose’ the internet for so-called ‘fake news,’ conveniently blamed for Hillary losing the election (along with FBI fall guy James Comey, WikiLeaks and Putin of course, and legions of racist Trump supporters). The liars are citing every reason but the actual reason for their loss – Hillary has been proven ad nauseam to be nothing more than a pathological lying prostitute for pure greed and the genocidal masters she bows down to and serves. Americans have grown so sick of government corruption, endless wars and blatant treason by their leaders maintaining policies that have consistently been destroying America, they’ve elected an angry, bigoted, rich white man as their latest hope promising to drain the swamp infested by leeching Washington criminals. And the prospect of a growing wrath behind a seething rage in America about ready to spill over has deep state insiders initiating an all-out offensive in a last gasp effort to ward off the truth from fully exposing their international crime cabal once and for all, especially since the Clinton et al.’s international child sex slavery-trafficking ring was outed [yet again] last month. As quickly as it resurfaced on alternative news sites, it closed just as quickly when Comey reclosed Hillary’s criminal investigation two days prior to the election.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on November 26, 2016.
Below is a guest post from my colleague, who requested anonymity. 12 years ago, a friend of mine and I both agreed that – and this was after Enron, 9/11 and Colin Powell’s self-admitted lies about Iraq which were used to justify a military overthrow of the Hussein Government – that we would eventually see things occur in this country that would blow our minds (as if those three events were relatively ‘non-events). I can say with complete sincerity that two things completely blow my mind now: 1) the degree to which corruption and criminality have completely enveloped our economic, financial and Governmental system and 2) the fact that a criminal – with plenty of hacked emails on display to prove certain acts of criminality – is permitted to run for President. ************************ I am a casual observer having learned that when all you are left with is hope, it’s thatmoment you realize it’s over – whether it’s a game, investing, politics, etc. Unfortunately I reached that point many years ago with the state of politics and mainstream media’s (MSM) blatant biases towards…..well everything they touch. Last night’s Presidential Debate (sic) clearly reinforces my position that all we are left with is hope. Hope that things cannot get worse, hope that eventually things get better, hope that this is not simply a horrific Orwellian Nightmare, although the latter appears to be where we’ve arrived full frontal. I didn’t watch the debate looking for my opinion of the ‘candidates’ to change as I have zero plans to vote in this election. Yes, we’ve devolved to that point in history. I watched the debate for the same reason most people would watch a NASCAR race: waiting to see a wreck. In attempting to summarize the spectacle from last evening, the first thought I had is ‘if aliens were watching from their spaceship what would they be thinking?’
Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic, The Burning Platform’s quote of the day sums it all up perfectly: ‘The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.’ George Orwell Contemporary governance embodies corruption within deranged systems resting on foundations of theft and fraud. Corruption makes reform impossible; derangement assures eventual collapse. ‘Defense’ spending is a misnomer. The US could defend itself at a small fraction of what it spends on its military and intelligence. The US government’s foreign intervention and maintenance of a confederated empire are actually a welfare and transfer payment program. Spending has become the point: maximizing the payoff to military and intelligence contractors, their think tanks and lobbying arms, captured politicians, and the vast bureaucracies. Winning wars doesn’t serve the interests of those beneficiaries, lengthy and inconclusive engagements do. The war on terrorism is a mother lode. The enemy is whomever the government deems it to be, wherever the government chooses to fight it. The war itself creates more terrorism. Victory cannot be defined; the war will go on as long as the current ideology remains in place. It enriches the military-intelligence-industrial complex, but a war-without-end welfare program is clearly deranged, a fitting target of satire. It will continue indefinitely because its beneficiaries have far more incentive and resources to promote their interests than the rest of us have in promoting peace.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 9, 2016.
Former Arkansas Sen. William Fulbright said in 1967, ‘The price of empire is America’s soul, and that price is too high.’ War, expansion, the maintenance of a large standing army: these corrupt a country, as poets from James Russell Lowell to Wendell Berry have tried to tell us. The Vietnam or Iraq War may level villages across the sea but back home, in our villages, they unleash an insidious poison, too. They make our places less liveable. From the pit of the Cold War Edmund Wilson, the Sage of Boonville, New York, lamented that ‘our country has become today a huge blundering power unit controlled more and more by bureaucracies whose rule is making it more and more difficult to carry on the tradition of American individualism.’ In Boonville as in Emporia as in Sauk Centre, the little places that give America soul were ravaged and denuded by the machine of perpetual war. War effaces and perverts the very bases of healthy community life. It elevates impermanence and rootlessness to virtues. It forcibly uproots people; it distorts natural economic patterns, causing artificial regional booms and busts – witness the histories of Detroit and Kentucky; it spreads venereal disease, if not democracy; it separates husbands from wives and parents from children; it leads to a spike in the divorce rate among service personnel and it nationalizes their children in what the Pentagon, with its usual tone-deafness to Orwellian rings, calls ‘the Total Army Family.’ Welcome to the Brave New World. A militaristic state is a centripetal machine that sucks all power to the center. Smaller bodies, grass-roots democratic institutions, are devitalized, wiped out. All political decisions of consequence are made at a level impossibly remote from real life. People we don’t know – people who have no desire or even means to know us – make life or death decisions about us.
Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the European Union’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the EU itself. Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours — as “Orwellian.” “By deciding that ‘xenophobic’ comment in reaction to the crisis is also ‘racist,’ Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people… into ‘racist’ views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as ‘racist.’” – Douglas Murray. In January 2013, Facebook suspended the account of Khaled Abu Toameh after he wrote about corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The account was reopened 24 hours later, but with the two posts deleted and no explanation. The European Union (EU), in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, has unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe.
This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden – Jun 3, 2016.
Many of the things that are happening this very moment have direct parallels in literature of the past. Whether it is an account such as the ‘Gulag Archipelago’ by Solzhenitsyn or a work of ‘fiction’ such as ’1984′ by George Orwell is irrelevant. Elements of the history or the storyline (regarding the former and the latter works) are now becoming thoroughly inculcated into the fabric of modern reality. All of the measures taken by the Soviet Union to crush and control its population are beginning to manifest themselves today in the United States. The courts are ‘stacked’ to reflect the decision of the regime and not to rule by law. The Military Industrial Complex contracts are still being shuffled, along with government policies that just happen to substantiate those business interests with kickbacks for all. Laws serve political and corporate interests, and the lawmakers themselves do not represent any of their constituents: they are self-serving thieves, selling out their country and its populace for money and power. The police departments have (for all intents and purposes) been ‘federalized,’ with budgets and marching orders becoming increasingly dependent upon federal and not local or state policies. Sheriffs who follow their appointed roles as duly-elected law enforcement officials upholding Constitutional guidelines are being ‘phased out’ of existence. The changed demographics of ‘forced’ insertions of illegal aliens and ‘refugees’ into populations are rapidly negating the remainder of the two-party system to ensure that the Democratic party takes control ad infinitum.
This post was published at shtfplan on March 29th, 2016.
‘ February 25, 2016 (ANTIMEDIA) The FBI versus Apple Inc. An unstoppable force meets an immovable object – the feverish momentum of American technocracy accelerating into the cavernous Orwellian entrenchment of the surveillance state. You thought the patent wars were intense? The ‘Battle of the Backdoor’ pits one of America’s most monolithic tech conglomerates against the Department of Justice and, ultimately, the interests of the national security state. And this case is likely only the opening salvo in what will be a decades-long ideological war between tech privacy advocates and the federal government. On its face, the case boils down to a single locked and encrypted iPhone 5S, used by radical jihadist Syed Rizwan Farook before he and his wide Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in San Bernardino on December 2nd. The DOJ wants Apple to build a backdoor into the device so that it can bypass the company’s state of the art encryption apparatus and access information and evidence related to the case. At least, that’s the premise presented to the public. As we are learning, the FBI and the federal government have a far more comprehensive end-game in mind than merely bolstering the prosecution of this one case. Whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted last week that ‘crucial details [of the case] are being obscured by officials.’ Specifically, he made the following trenchant points:
Twitter announced it will be joining in the pro-censorship campaigns currently sweeping social media under the familiar guise defenders of liberty and free speech love to hate: terrorism. Twitter’s version of the Thought Police, however, sounds somehow even more Orwellian than the original: The Trust & Safety Council – which will, unsurprisingly, ‘work to develop policies censoring speech on the site,’ as the Washington Examiner described. ‘To ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter, we must provide more tools and policies,’ the social media’s statement paradoxically begins. ‘With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.’
Janet Yellen and orthodox economists claim that the economy can only be gaining, and that word is taken, on faith, as if some updated, modern gold standard for meaning. No matter the contrary in actual evidence and observation, the ‘word’ remains as if diktat were the only employ. It has produced some very strange dichotomies, particularly of late, where those within that economic cage are struggling mightily and obviously to find some kind of consistency with it all. It has led to an Orwellian deployment of qualifications and words quite contrary to their established meaning. For one, apparently the American economy cannot withstand anything but the fattest, meatiest part of the Bell Curve for temperature. Anything outside of a narrow range in weather (which, if you are paying attention, is what weather actually is) and somehow economists and their media parrots become disenthralled and unhinged. We all know about the constant appeal, three winters in a row, of cold and snow and vortices of some blusterous nature, but now warm weather has been assigned the same depressive instincts. I wish I were making this up, for it does not suggest anything good about the economy nor the state of the commentary class that still clings to Yellen’s desperate narrative no matter how much and how deeply actual observation moves sharply against it all. As expected, balmy October days failed to inspire people to shop for winter coats, but the retail sales results were even a little worse than forecast. The Thomson Reuters Same Store Sales Index actual result for October 2015 showed no change, missing its final estimate of a 0.3% gain. Excluding drug stores, the SSS Index registered a -0.2% comp for October, missing its 0.1% final estimate. It’s important to note that these results are not final, as the Gap will report October SSS on Nov. 9. However, 75% of retailers missed estimates, hit by lower gasoline prices, the effect of a strong U. S. dollar and the warmer-than-usual weather. [emphasis added] A negative same store sales index register is recession, but Yellen has declared that all ‘transitory’ so the people at Reuters are left making a mockery of their own work. Worse, Thompson Reuters just over a week ago, in projecting the alarming re-appearance of negative retail figures in its own index, even stated that a negative was consistent with recession:
Yesterday, in a stunning decision packed with Orwellian reverse speak, Judge Victor Marrero of the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (where cases against Wall Street firms are thrown out like penny candy by a carnival barker) dismissed claims against Goldman Sachs in a case so fraught with the appearance of corruption that it had commanded an investigation by the U. S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Plaintiffs in the case were investors in Hudson Mezzanine Funding 2006-1 and 2006-2, synthetic bets on toxic mortgages which Goldman sold to investors while making multi-billion-dollar bets for its own firm that the deals would fail. In writing his decision to dismiss the claims by plaintiffs, the Judge actually acknowledged that employees of Goldman Sachs had called what they were selling to their customers ‘crap’ and ‘junk’ in internal emails that were introduced into evidence. Judge Marrero further conceded that Goldman Sachs was aware of deteriorating fundamentals in the subprime mortgage market and needed to ‘flip’ its risk onto the shoulders of its customers. But none of this convinced the Federal Judge – a so-called steward of the public trust – that he had an obligation to let the case proceed to trial and allow citizen jurors make their own determinations in the matter.
‘ July 14, 2015 Last month’s retail sales report for May was taken as the definitive sign that the slump had passed and that the conventional view of the jobs market was finally, if surprisingly belatedly, taking shape. It did not matter to economists that the only basis for that interpretation was seasonal adjustments, which had produced a huge disparity with the unadjusted set. I wrote then: There is a lot about this ‘cycle’ which is totally upside down, but retail sales in May just might represent the apex of the Orwellian transformation; all on the say so of seasonal adjustments. The worst data in years, comparable only to the worst economicEXPERIENCES in recent history, are now counted as a ‘surge’ in spending and cause for both optimism and doom. The mainstream interpretation sounded far more appealing despite its rather easily apparent illegitimacy: U. S. retail sales surged in May as households boosted purchases of automobiles and a range of other goods even as they paid a bit more for gasoline, the latest sign economic growth is finally gathering steam. With, again, statistical fancy as the only foundation for that recovery storyline, it is decidedly not unexpected that June would find its opposite effect. That is the nature of seasonal adjustments, as what they give alone in one month must be undone the next (when ‘surges’ aren’t really surges but statistical variation only). The decline in the month-over-month retail sales for June thus completes the trip, though the despair in the mainstream is almost psychotic with its ‘shock.’ A sample of just some headlines:
The following video was published by InvestmentResearchDynamics on Jun 14, 2015 Something deep and dark has transpired behind the Orwellian ‘curtain’ used by the elitists to hide the inner workings of the financial markets, especially with regard to big bank balance sheets and OTC derivatives. What’s happening right now reminds of the movie ‘Jurassic Park.’ You can hear and feel the monster coming but you can’t see it yet and you don’t know it will pop up in your face or how big it is
Police are everywhere. My ID has been checked more times than I can remember. This is a police state, and the number one suspects are journalists. Charlie Skelton’s account of police in his hotel room going through his things while in his nude then taking him to his car to search that is merely one example of the conditions under which those of us who are here to cover the Bilderberg conference find ourselves. This year, some of the world’s elites have travelled to the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in the Austrian Alps for the Bilderberg conference so that the police protecting them can hassle well-meaning journalists, activists and so on. Journalists here at Bilderberg are the criminals in the Orwellian world while people like CIA mafioso David Petraeus are on the inside wining, dining and dealing on the taxpayer’s tab. It’s a long history of crime from Bilderberg’s attendees, starting with the group’s first chairman, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who was caught in the 70s bribing and being bribed by Lockheed and Northrop. Then there is Douglas Flint, HSBC chairman, at Bilderberg too this year and branded by Guardian ‘a bank beyond shame’; but yet here are the executives of that bank meeting with powerful cronies and government officials. Just this week Henry Kissinger, Bilderberg steering committee member, said that the US has been arming ISIS. Like Skelton, my friends Luke Rudwkowski, Dan Dicks and myself have had our fair share of run-ins with the Austrian police.
Mainstream economists tell us that the Federal Reserve protects us from economic waves, indeed from the business cycle itself. In their view, people naturally tend to go overboard and cause wild swings in both directions. Thus, we need an economic central planner to alternatively stimulate us and then take away the punch bowl. Newspapers report on the adoption of the Federal Reserve Act. It was erroneously held that it was going to be ‘a constructive Act to aid business’. Ominously, even more such acts were promised. Prior to the global financial crisis of 2008, a popular term described the supposed benefits created by the Fed. The Great Moderation referred to the reduced volatility of the business cycle. For example, I have written before about economist Marvin Goodfriend, who asserted that the Fed does better than the gold standard. An Orwellian Mandate for the Provision of Miracles This belief is inherent in the Fed’s very mandate from Congress. The Fed states its three statutory objectives as, ‘maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.’ These terms are Orwellian. Maximum employment means five percent of able-bodied adults can’t find work. Stable prices are actually rising relentlessly, at two percent per year. The meaning of moderate long-term interest rates must be changing, because rates have been falling for a third of a century.
Linguistic Perversions While the whole world is waiting with bated breath whether the bureaucrats running the Federal Reserve will alter, remove or retain a single adjective in their monetary policy statement today, it occurred to us to think a bit about the use of language in the context of economics and financial markets. Many a word has seen its true meaning altered in our Orwellian age. One example we frequently cite in these pages is the term ‘inflation’. It once used to mean only one thing: An increase in the supply of money. It is the only way in which the term actually makes logical sense. And yet, in modern times its meaning has been altered to designate what is in fact only one of the many possible consequences of inflation, namely rising prices of consumer goods. As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, this means that we actually no longer have a single word to describe what the term ‘inflation’ once used to describe. By calling rising prices ‘inflation’, sight is lost of the root cause of rising prices. This is of course deliberate, as the instigators of inflation are now no longer seen for what they truly are. As a result of this it has become fashionable to call central banks ‘inflation fighters’. This is akin to calling an armed robber a saint, or calling an arsonist a firefighter. Capitalism is another term that has been under siege for quite some time. Once upon a time, it was the term used to describe the free market economy. Nowadays, one has to add descriptive adjectives to ensure that one is not misunderstood when talking about capitalism. If one wants to use the term in its original sense, one has to amend it by saying ‘free market capitalism’. How else can one be certain that people realize one isn’t talking about the ‘state capitalism’ or ‘crony capitalism’ which prevails today? Ironically, the latter two probably have more in common with socialism than capitalism, so one should e.g. really speak of ‘crony socialism’. Contrary to popular wisdom, central banks are definitely not ‘pillars of the capitalist system’. They are socialist institutions engaged in central economic planning. Not a single aspect of these institutions has anything to do with free markets or capitalism. In fact, as a result of the linguistic confusion about the term capitalism, they are actively contributing to giving capitalism a bad name with their interventionist policies. Whenever the artificial booms their interventions create turn to busts, the media will blame the free market instead of putting blame where it belongs. We have last seen this quite starkly in 2008. As George Reismann pointed out at the time:
This post was published at Acting-Man on March 18, 2015.
The most significant challenge of our times relates to the ongoing theft of society’s wealth across the board by a very small group of people known as ‘oligarchs,’ the ‘super rich,’ the ‘overclass,’ etc. Whatever you want to call them, this group is hellbent on using political cronyism in faux democracies across the global to aggregate all the world’s wealth and power, while concurrently implementing an Orwellian surveillance state spy-grid in order to protect their fiefdoms once the plebs finally become restless. This much we know. While the above-mentioned clash between oligarchs and the demoralized and confused citizenry (a significant percentage of this class doesn’t even know the clash is happening) will be the defining battle of my lifetime, it is extremely important to understand another conflict that is almost equally important. This is the widening division between generations, which I believe will get quite ugly in the next severe economic downturn beginning sometime next year. The reason this conflict is much more nuanced, is because millennials don’t dislike their parents, and baby boomers aren’t actively trying to harm their children’s future. Rather, both generations are going to experience a gigantic clash in the years ahead as these distinct generations’ collectively look to secure their own futures. For the boomers, this will quite singularly mean securing a comfortable retirement. For the millennials, it will mean a professional and family life that feels rewarding, higher standards of living, and political, cultural and economic self-determination. Notably, millennials have realized none of these things, due in large part to baby boomers holding firmly onto the reigns of political power and bailing-out their financial portfolios whenever they are threatened, and at any cost. As millennials come into their own and realize how fucked they are, they are becoming more and more vocal. Thus, we see increased youth movements all over the world demanding self-determination, such as the massive gathering in Hong Kong known as #OccupyCentral. We also saw clear signs of generational fracturing in the recent Scottish independence referendum, which I discussed in the post, Fear and Loathing in Scotland – Why the NO’s Won and Lessons Learned from the Vote, in which I noted: