In the tradition of dimming debate, the chattering class has reduced systemic corruption in South Africa and the near collapse in Zimbabwe, respectively, to the shenanigans of two men: Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe. Zuma, the President of South Africa, currently faces possible impeachment for corruption, while Robert Mugabe has now been forcibly ‘retired’ after 30 years as President. Surely by now, though, it should be common knowledge that in Africa, if you replace a despot, but not despotism, you only oust a tyrant, and not tyranny. How Kleptocracy Works Emblematic of this is a thematically confused article in The Economist, offering a description of the dynamics set in motion by the Zuma dynasty’s capture of the state. At first, the magazine explains the concept of ‘state capture’ as “private actors [having] subverted the state to steal public money.” Later, the concept is more candidly refined: ‘The nub of the state capture argument is that Mr. Zuma and his friends are putting state-owned enterprises and other governmental institutions in the hands of people who are allowing them to loot public funds.” Indeed. Corruption invariably flows from state to society.
The stock market rejoices the House passage of the tax ‘reform’ Bill as the Dow shot up 187 points and the S&P 500 spiked up 21. The Nasdaq soared 1.3%, retracing its 3-day decline in one day. The tax bill is nothing more than a massive redirect of money flow from the Treasury Department to Corporate America and billionaires. The middle class will not receive any tax relief from the Bill but it will shoulder the burden of the several trillion dollars extra in Treasury debt that will be required to finance the tax cuts for the wealthy. The tax ‘reform’ will have, at best, no effect on GDP. It will likely be detrimental to real economic output. The Big Money Grab is ‘on’ at the highest levels of of Wall St., DC, Corporate America, the Judiciary and State/local Govt. These people are grabbing from a dying carcass as fast and greedily as possible. The elitists are operating free from any fear of the Rule of Law. That particular nuisance does not apply to ‘them’ – only to ‘us.’ They don’t even try to hide their grand scale theft anymore because the protocol in place to prevent them from doing this is now on their side. This is the section in Atlas Shrugged leading up to the big implosion. ‘When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.’ – Atlas Shrugged
I have been asked many times why I have intervened in the federal prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the young man who was convicted and sentenced to death in the Boston Marathon bombing case where two brothers, on April 15, 2013, allegedly detonated pressure cooker bombs on Boylston Street in front of the Forum Restaurant that killed or maimed many people. As I wrap up my career of fifty years as a member of the bar, including service as a public defender in state and federal courts, co-founder of an accredited law school, and chief public prosecutor in Minnesota state courts, I am apprehensive that my country might be entering into an era of judicial murder. Judicial murder is the practice of designing a trial to get a guilty verdict, regardless of the facts, and a death sentence carried out. It has happened in many countries in all ages. It has been recognized as a threat of public justice by the United States Supreme Court in Powell v. Alabama, 287 U. S. 45 at 72-72 (1932). Judicial murder is followed by corruption and destruction of society. The judicial murder of Socrates was followed by loss of the classical civilization of ancient Greece. The judicial murder of Jesus of Nazareth, whether son of God or venerable philosopher, was followed by the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple. The judicial murder of Joan of Arc was followed by loss of most English lands in France. The judicial murder of Charles the First was followed by loss of the free constitution of England. The judicial murder of Louis XVI was followed by 150 years of defeat, ruin, suffering, and chaos in France. Judicial murder in the Third Reich was followed by humiliating defeat of Germany. Judicial murder in the Soviet Union was followed by collapse of the Soviet empire. If the justice system cannot be trusted, evil consequences follow.
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.
‘Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.’ – Professor Henry A. Giroux This latest mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 injured is as obscure as they come: a 64-year-old retiree with no apparent criminal history, no military training, and no obvious axe to grind opens fire on a country music concert crowd from a hotel room 32 floors up using a semi-automatic gun that may have been rigged to fire up to 700 rounds a minute, then kills himself. We’re left with more questions than answers, none of them a flattering reflection of the nation’s values, political priorities, or the manner in which the military-industrial complex continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives. For starters, why do these mass shootings keep happening? Mass shootings have taken place at churches, in nightclubs, on college campuses, on military bases, in elementary schools, in government offices, and at concerts. This shooting is the deadliest to date. What is it about America that makes violence our nation’s calling card?
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.
There’s a very simple principle that helps form the bedrock of any prosperous and civilized society. When people do bad things, they should be punished for it. The moment that rule is turned upside down, and the wicked and weak are rewarded for their behavior, society will crumble. There’s no way around it. Every society that rewards bad behavior is on the fast track to destruction. You might think that would be obvious, but there are plenty of nations throughout history that have fallen under the weight of corruption, in one form or another. Our species has made this mistake countless times. We never learn, and we always pay for it. Next on the chopping block of history is Denmark, where the police in the city of Aarhus are now essentially rewarding people who have been accused of being terrorists.
This post was published at shtfplan on August 14th, 2017.
Here is what Donald Trump should call for this morning. This is the right time to up his ante in the struggle against the Lgenpresse. All his efforts to fix the sinking ship of the US society are in vain with a breach below the waterline. If the Fake News applauds every jerk in a mantle who stops a presidential decree, the jerks will multiply and president’s decrees will be worth what? A collector’s rarity. A quirky exhibit from the days of Donald Trump’s short-lived presidency. The fake news media ridiculed the POTUS so completely, that this big man with big orange hair shrunk down to Lilliput’s finger. Trump can’t get out of his disposition by foreign policy acts. Forget about North Korea. It is a big hedgehog: a lot of bother to catch and kill, many prickles and no meat. The only thing Kim wants to tell Trump is ‘I am not a soft target, go look elsewhere’. Is North Korea dangerous? Only for those who want to step on it. P G Wodehouse’s Mr Mulliner argued with anti-smoker lobby: ‘They come and tell me that if they place two drops of nicotine on the tongue of a dog the animal instantly dies and when I ask them if they have ever tried the childishly simple device of not placing nicotine on the dog’s tongue, they have nothing to reply They are nonplussed. They go away mumbling something about never having thought of that before.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 13, 2017.
Macron’s funding reveals that elite Socialists were really behind him changing the label to sell a centrist agenda, but in reality, to maintain their agenda. Macron was able to raise funds from French abroad with the promises of change, and this targeted particularly the French who fled Hollande living in London and New York. He did a photo-op with Nobel Prize laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz before journalists who is critical of the management of globalization, against laissez-faire economists who he classifies a ‘free market fundamentalists’, as well as international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University and is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank. He was also a former member and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Bill Clinton and supported Hillary over Obama saying she is more ‘liberal’ (socialist) than Obama. Stiglitz believes in Georgism, which is a variety of Marxism whereby the State should own all the resources derived from land, which is an old Physicocrat(French) idea that wealth is derived from land. In this way, all natural resources should belong to government from mining to energy just for starters as if government operated industries ever ran efficient or were free from corruption. He also supported a single tax for all and believes that, while people should own the value what they produce themselves with everything derived from land should belong to government characterized as belonging equally to all members of society (government).
“While the idea of admitting that a bureaucracy is necessary, I must also admit that marketers are liars and if left unregulated will rival politicians in their dishonesty when making product claims. Both admissions shake my libertarian sensibilities to the core.” First, a free market eventually corrects for the condition of “marketers are liars,” unlike with politicians. Furthermore, not ALL marketers are liars. Second, what makes you think the FDA, or any government bureaucracy for that matter, doesn’t lie? If one thinks we need an FDA, then one should think that we also need an EPA, FED, NLRB, EEOC, and on, and on, and on … further violating your libertarian sensibilities. The head administrator of the FDA is pretty much a revolving door with Big Pharma: is government regulation always the knee jerk reaction to every ill that affects society? Can you creatively think of some other solutions that don’t violate the Constitution of the United States? Keep reading, and maybe some other ideas will present themselves. More people die every year from legalized drugs than from taking supplements, not to mention the drugs the FDA eventually gets around to recalling, after they’ve already done their damage. In addition, the FDA is continually pushed by vested interests (Big Pharma and lobbied government officials) to cut corners so that drugs can get to market faster. So much for the efficacy of the FDA! So, you want more of the same? lot of medical doctors are in the back pocket of Big Pharma, not to mention the AMA: can go here to find out if your particular doctor is on the take:
This post was published at Gary North on March 25, 2017.
While U. S. political journalist Matt Taibbi has made no bones about his dislike of Donald Trump… (via Rolling Stone a day after the election) Most of us smarty-pants analysts never thought Trump could win because we saw his run as a half-baked white-supremacist movement fueled by last-gasp, racist frustrations of America’s shrinking silent majority. Sure, Trump had enough jackbooted nut jobs and conspiracist stragglers under his wing to ruin the Republican Party. But surely there was no way he could topple America’s reigning multicultural consensus. How could he? After all, the country had already twice voted in an African-American Democrat to the White House. Yes, Trump’s win was a triumph of the hideous racism, sexism and xenophobia that has always run through American society. But his coalition also took aim at the neoliberal gentry’s pathetic reliance on proxies to communicate with flyover America. They fed on the widespread visceral disdain red-staters felt toward the very people Hillary Clinton’s campaign enlisted all year to speak on its behalf: Hollywood actors, big-ticket musicians, Beltway activists, academics, and especially media figures. Trump’s rebellion was born at the intersection of two toxic American myths, the post-racial society and the classless society.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 15, 2017.
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.
It’s now been almost three weeks since Donald Trump’s shocking (to mainstream propaganda media outlets) victory over Hillary Clinton and her establishment cronies in the presidential election. Despite an overwhelming electoral victory, the furious liberals and their captured media outlets have been conducting a full court press to somehow overturn the verdict of the American people through intimidation of electors, recounts funded by unknown parties, and Soros funded violent protests in liberal enclaves across the country. Meanwhile those of us who work for a living and pay the taxes, allowing the free shit army to protest at their leisure, have continued to go to work in order to make money to support our families just as we did before Trump was elected. As I’ve detailed in dozens of previous articles about the 30 Blocks of Squalor, West Philadelphia is a product of the ‘Great Society’ welfare state and sixty years of total Democrat control of Philadelphia government. While white working middle class Americans voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump on November 8, the reality challenged voters in Philadelphia cast 82% of their votes for a corrupt establishment hack and only 15% for Trump. The black voters on the 30 Blocks of Squalor, ignored and taken for granted by Democrat politicians since the 1950s, cast 93% of their votes for Crooked Hillary. It is baffling how these people would continue to vote for their own servitude, trapped in squalor, dependent upon the state for survival, and wallowing in ignorance produced by government indoctrination public schools.
“Listening to the leading figures of the Democratic party establishment, however, you’d never know it. Cool contentment is the governing emotion in these circles. What they have in mind for 2016 is what we might call a campaign of militant complacency. They are dissociated from the mood of the nation, and they do not care… What our modernized liberal leaders offer is not confrontation [with corporate corruption] but a kind of therapy for those flattened by the free-market hurricane: they counsel us to accept the inevitability of the situation.” Thomas Frank “Too many of America’s elites-among the super-rich, the CEOs, and many of my colleagues in academia-have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned.” Jeffrey Sachs “This elite-generated social control maintains the status quo because the status quo benefits and validates those who created and sit atop it. People rise to prominence when they parrot the orthodoxy rather than critically analyze it. Intellectual regurgitation is prized over independent thought. Real change in politics or society cannot occur under the orthodoxy because if it did, it would threaten the legitimacy of the professional class and all of the systems that helped them achieve their status. Kristine Mattis, The Cult of the Professional Class The continuing reaction of the liberal elite to the repudiation of the Democratic establishment by their traditional constituencies of the young and working people is a wonder to behold. They thrash back and forth between a denial of their failure, and disgust at everyone else they can blame for it.
As the dust settles from the recent presidential election, it’s becoming clear that a large part of the sentiment behind the vote for Trump reflects a deep dissatisfaction from middle and lower-class working families. The traditional fruits of prosperity have been rising higher and farther out of reach for them, as their ability to make a living wage has been eroding year-over-year, for decades. They’ve now reached the point where they no longer trust the empty promises that have been sold them by a steady stream of politicians — on both side of the aisle — who have lined their own pockets with lobbyist money while overseeing a tremendous shift of society’s wealth to crony corporations and the top 1%. Trump’s victory can largely be summed up as a defiant yelp from the masses decrying: “I may not know what the solution is, but I’m damn sure more of the same ain’t it!” Of course, we here at PeakProsperity.com are in full agreement with that righteous anger. Through borrowing way too much, bailing out rather than prosecuting bad actors, printing trillions of “thin air” dollars, a deliberate pursuit of financial repression and other schemes — the future prosperity of the “everyday American” has been stolen by those in power and those positioned closest to the trough. Mathematically, this orgy of excess needs to be balanced by severe austerity; an austerity the elites refuse to suffer but are forcing onto everybody else. No wonder the masses are pissed. Few visuals drive this injustice home better than this one of historical bank CD interest rates. Note how they’ve been in steady collapse since the mid-1980s:
Editor’s Comment: Is it really any wonder that the most dangerous leaders in society, and their cadre of supporters, are always urging everyone to vote? Democracy has been sanctified because of its symbolic indication that the will and the voice of the people is being considered. Grand sweeping sentiments, ‘democracy,’ the ‘American way’ and so forth. But perhaps it is a model that never could live up to the needs of society… if voting just means picking the personality of your dictator, then there is noting to vote for. Not sure all the things asserted in this article should be implemented either, but it is worth keeping mind that the population and size of the societies that first instituted democracy in Ancient Greece, etc. have little in common with the easily divided, multi-dimensional population base in the United States – with a whopping 315,000,000 people being represented by 1-of-2 presidential candidates, and 535 people in Congress. The most populous state in the U. S., California, is represented by 2 Senators – at a ratio of about 1 to 19 million, and each of its 53 representatives in Congress theoretically represent the views of more than 700,000 people. In Wyoming, the least populous U. S. state, 1 House member represents about a half million people, and each of their 2 senators represent about 232,00o people. Anyway you slice it, no matter what system or values you believe in, that’s a lot of people being represented by a very few… and almost none of those representatives are able to resist corruption, avoid tainted lobbyist money or uphold their promises to voters. So you tell me what the solution is? Mathematicians Prove Society is Way Too Complex to Have A President Mathematics, a report published by Vice’s Motherboard prior to Election Day suggests, proves society is so complex that democracies have been rendered irrelevant. According to a study carried out by mathematicians at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), it is difficult for government entities or single individuals to debate what these mathematicians call ‘social policy’ if the goal is to find something that works for everyone. Once we consider that members of any society are simply too complex, the study suggests, we are able to understand that the systems of government currently available fail to meet our expectations.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 18th, 2016.
A video by David Wolfe about the town of Auroville, India is being shared around social media again and the town is presented as a self-sustaining, utopian paradise void of such unseemly hindrances as money, religion, and politics. Unfortunately, like nearly everything circulating in the meme-feed these days, if it seems too good to be true it is. In this case, the information presented by the video maker should be rated by PolitiFact as a ‘pants on fire lie.’ Digging beneath the surface, however, reveals that the City of the Dawn established in 1968 by a person called ‘The Mother’ is rife with predictable economic realities that border on hilarities when compared to the presentation in David Wolfe’s 60-second Facebook video. I’ll only address Wolfe’s claims here and won’t even go into the matters of corruption and crime which have become serious problems in Auroville. Auroville as a ‘Moneyless Society’ Theoretically, the only ways a society could exist without money would be a barter economy, void of any medium of exchange, or a complete command economy. A thorough perusal of Auroville’s official website, however, reveals that neither of these hypothetical organizations fits Auroville’s situation, though redistribution of production is influenced by a central authority.
The present day offers the opportunity for many incredible experiences. Perhaps one of the most rewarding of all is bearing witness to the final days before the greatest economic crackup the world’s ever known. Not since Nero clipped coins in 64 A. D. and fiddled as Rome burned has there been such an intolerable collection of dingleberries in imperial office. John Maynard Keynes, the godfather of modern day economic planning, in his 1919 work, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, wrote: ‘There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency.’ Incidentally, Keynes attributed this acute insight to another innovative central planner, one Vladimir Lenin. Regrettably, these two visionaries predicted today’s present state of affairs with remarkable foresight. Here we are, nearly 100 years later, and the currency has been near fully debauched. What’s more, the basis of society has been completely overturned. Gawping at the Presidential debate earlier this week made this all too apparent. Two hominids, panting at the watering hole, squawking and shrieking over who gets to divvy up and dole out the peanuts. One wants to transfer wealth from the rich via payments to the poor. The other wants to rebuild the nation’s crumbly airports and bridges using money from somewhere.
Ken Rogoff is by all accounts a brilliant man. The Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist is a chess grandmaster. His thesis committee included current Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer. But like many survivors of Ivy League hoop jumping, the poor fellow appears to have emerged punch drunk. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from Rogoff’s new book, The Curse of Cash , which, in effect, proposes a ban on paper currency. It’s terrifying piece of work, for several reasons. First, the cashless society, which Rogoff proposes in order to make it easier for the US government to confiscate private wealth, in effect, amounts to an admission that Washington can’t pay back its debts. Second, the fact that Rogoff uses the fight against ‘terrorism’ and ‘crime’ arguments in selling his proposals to the public – justifications which he as a mathematician should know are farcical – suggest that his arguments hide another agenda. Third, and most important, is the fact that not only would banning cash not achieve Rogoff’s objectives – it could cause irreparable harm to the dollar’s role in the American economy and as a reserve currency. Let’s look at these arguments one at a time.
They call us technophobes and luddites, or whatever derogatory term used to describe those who don’t automatically go along with the ‘latest and greatest’ scientific invention. But is it really asking too much to question whether or not it is okay to unleash an invention on society without learning about the possible effects before doing so? Is merely questioning the safety of new technology before implementing it such a ludicrous proposal? Are we so in love with what we can invent that we cannot even fathom that anyone should be allowed to posit an opposing opinion without provoking the wrath of the scientific community? If so, this is not truly science, but the ego-driven machinations of corporate-controlled narcissists masquerading as scientists. And woe to the world if we continue buying into their schemes. We love the newest and most inventive toys. We like to play. We like to be ‘number one’ and proudly display our acquisitions. But just when does this tendency turn into a fatal attraction and end up costing us our very lives? In the latest scheme to force new and dangerous technology down our throats, we find that Monsanto is now merging with Bayer. Another Solutia solution for Monsanto’s Glyphosate woes.
This post was published at FarmWars on Sept 15, 2016.