Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Truth Is Not Merely that Team USA’s Violence Is Far Greater Than That of Its Enemies, Or That the Former Triggers the Latter, But That Western Governments and Their Client States Have Actively Empowered Right-Wing Jihadist Groups  (Turning USA Into a Battlefield?)   Confirm Clarence Thomas - Why?



BREAKING:

GREXIT!!!! (GREECEXIT)

We just had another electoral earthquake in the Euro area:  Podemos-backed candidates have won local elections in Madrid and Barcelona. And I hope that the IFKAT — the institutions formerly known as the troika — are paying attention.

. . . What I would urge everyone to do is ask what happens if Greece is in fact pushed out of the Euro. (Yes, Grexit — ugly word, but we’re stuck with it.)

It would surely be ugly in Greece, at least at first. Right now the core Euro countries believe that the rest of the Euro area can handle it, which might be true. Bear in mind, however, that the supposed firewall of ECB support has never actually been tested. If markets lose faith and the time for ECB purchases of Spanish or Italian bonds arises, will it really happen?

. . . what happens a year or two after Grexit, where the real risk to the Euro is not that Greece will fail but that it will succeed. Suppose that a greatly devalued new drachma brings a flood of British beer-drinkers to the Ionian Sea, and Greece starts to recover. This would greatly encourage challengers to Austerity and internal devaluation elsewhere.

Think about it. Just the other day the Very Serious Europeans were hailing Spain as a great success story, a vindication of the whole program. Evidently the Spanish people don’t agree. And if the anti-establishment forces have a recovering Greece to point to, the discrediting of the establishment will accelerate.

. . . So think about it, IFKATs:  are you really sure you want to start going down this road?

Imagine Greece recovering after the last decade of Depression?

Bye bye Euro (German bankers).

And on the other shore . . .


Beyond a fringe, Muslims don’t regard al-Qaeda-ISIS as a legitimate form of resistance to imperialism.On the contrary, many see al-Qaeda-ISIS as the spawn of US–Saudi imperialism.

Because it is.

. . . The truth is not merely that Team USA’s violence is far greater than that of its enemies, or that the former triggers the latter, but that Western governments and their client states have actively empowered right-wing jihadist groups.

Western imperialists depict “Islamic terrorism” as a mysterious, indigenous virus in the way that neocons and their liberal allies blame “black culture” for problems caused by racism and longstanding oppression. There’s nothing ineffable in Islam that produces “terrorism.”

There is, however, a longstanding US effort to use specific facets of Muslim theology as weapons. This is part of a larger context that includes the European colonialism that preceded it and the American coups and wars that have sown chaos and sectarianism and undermined the self-determination of people in the region.

Milne offers a familiar take: the West inflicts enormous violence on people in the Middle East, and — as Ward Churchill once put it — “some people push back.” This is true. Many of those who’ve carried out attacks in Western capitals in the name of Islam — from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber — cite the West’s violence as their motive. Their explanations jibe not only with common sense but with the research of University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape, who found that by far the most significant cause of suicide bombing across the world is foreign occupation.

Furthermore, only a tiny fraction of Muslims have joined right-wing jihadist groups. Attempting to bolster his claim that Islam is inherently violent, Bill Maher cites (selective) stats showing many Muslims hold retrograde views on women and gays, but this is a non-sequitur. Holding such views almost never translates into al-Qaeda–ISIS membership.

In his book The Missing Martyrs:  Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists, Charles Kurzman reports that “well over 99 percent” have rejected the call. Despite the West’s routine killing of civilians, the vast majority of Muslims oppose retaliatory attacks on civilians, and even most of those who approve of the tactic are loath to sign on with a movement that kills mostly Muslims.

But the USA is an exceptional country.

Ask anyone.

As a college prof coming from the engineering/software fields who worked to increase participation of girls (and any boys who crossed my path) in STEM fields, I'm quite familiar with the problems attendant on maintaining US leadership roles in these professional capacities. I'm personally aware of the laying off of engineering/software professionals when the Cold War ended in the early 90's and their replacement by poorly trained, poorly paid "technical" replacements (who seemed to the non-technical management in charge that they were all that was necessary to keep the US abreast of technical change).

The USA has not recovered from this major management missep yet.

Unexceptionalism

...


24 May 2015

Exceptionalism:  It's not even really a word, it's a mythology we tell ourselves, over and over like a meditative mantra. As with most naval gazing, we tend to believe our own inner press instead of examined facts and data. Self-myth is Linus's security blanket.

It traces back to Tocqueville, even though it's obvious we've retained the old world's sins: classism, racism, the ability and willingness to wage war.

"In recent years scholars from numerous disciplines, as well as politicians and commentators in the popular media, have debated the meaning and usefulness of the concept. Roberts and DeCuirci ask:

"Why has the myth of American exceptionalism, characterized by a belief in America’s highly distinctive features or unusual trajectory based in the abundance of its natural resources, its revolutionary origins and its protestant religious culture that anticipated God’s blessing of the nation — held such tremendous staying power, from its influence in popular culture to its critical role in foreign policy?" Wikipedia

However:  of The 10 smartest countries based on math and science, America is exceptionally left out of the top ten...we tie with Italy at twenty-eighth.

What we're exceptional at is pseudoscience like creation science/museums and anti-vaxxers, the inane devotion to the testing industrial complex (making a killing on standardized tests in all 50 states) that Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada (the only one from the North American CONTINENT) have no relevant equivalent in this continued lunacy. As Ken Ham builds an ark and sues to only hire young Earth creationists - legalizing a patently discriminatory hiring practice; Bill Nye the Science Guy is crowd funding a solar sail. Go figure...

Mark Twain once famously remarked:  "there are lies, damned lies and statistics," but this is not a lie, damnable or otherwise. Callously, politicians are telling people what they want to hear versus what they need to; making them comfortable to merely hold onto their positions for 20...30+ years and accomplish nothing.

There is still good work being done in high tech in this country. That good work is being done by engineers and scientists that are daily...getting older. They will eventually be pushed out (sadly), or retire. National prosperity is not the result of magical thinking.

To continue our leadership and advances in STEM fields, the current workforce will have to have replacements once they can no longer produce at the same level as they did when they were younger; when there was industry, commerce and manufacturing that demanded their brilliance.

Our university professors are in the same boat. They can only train students based on demand, and that demand cannot increase when our employment is freely traded across oceans to meet the bottom-line of "bean counters" oblivious to the real world between lattes.


We are exceptionally prone to conspiracy theories:  false links to vaccines and autism; every shooting a "false flag" operation; the common nomenclature for military exercises - the exercise code name + YY (e.g. "15") - made into "the boogie man" in Texas by Alex Jones ditto head nincompoops that confuse the strict rules regarding research with disparate links of search engine results after an obvious drunken stupor.

As we advance in technology, there is a fear of it. Everyone has become Al Qaeda, The Tea Party, the Unabomber or ISIS:  who all want us all in huts, cabins or caves; women covered head-to-toe, not driving or working, barefoot and pregnant (always) and living in some Shangri-La parallel to the voices loudly booming in their heads.

Hopefully, Robert De Niro's sage yet colorful advice to his co-laborers in the arts is not appropos to the rest of the nation. We're sliding down an incline, slowly...inexorably...sliding. Rock bottom will hurt unless we start back up the incline.

Rock bottom.

We know something about that in the USA.

Listen to our neolib brethren.

But Tell Us, How Do You Really Feel About the Poor?


Here is a very clear statement of the Conservative view of poverty in this country. As is my habit, I will not link to it; and in this case, I will not even identify the author of this grotesque document. I hope you will trust me when I tell you that it really exists. I must warn you that my efforts to comment on it fall far short of the condemnation that it, its author, and the many people that believe such things, deserve.

"US suffering from massive equality of rich and poor

Propaganda is about telling a good story. So when the media wants to tell a story of how the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, they ignore incovenient facts, such as the value of the various federal, state, and local transfer payments, as well as the value of charitable contributions from private groups such as soup kitchens."

Soup kitchens. Yes, when "the media" want to tell you how badly the poor have it, they ignore the contribution of soup kitchens to their standard of living. I mean, "are there no workhouses?," if you get where I'm coming from.

"But if you look not at income but material wealth, the story gets worse, but in an opposite way. By examining material possessions we find that the gap between the rich and poor is actually alarmingly small. Let's look at a few categories:"

Let's not look at income, right? I mean, if a person has a cell phone, it's not a problem for them to live in constant fear of destitution, if they have a medical bill, or get in a car crash and can't get to work.

And we're told there's no money in the national Treasury to fund Social Security, Medicare and other needed social programs?

Where does the money for the national security state come from?

Turning America into a Battlefield: A Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

A standing army — something that propelled the early colonists into revolution — strips the American people of any vestige of freedom. How can there be any semblance of freedom when there are tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, Blackhawk helicopters and armed drones patrolling overhead?

It was for this reason that those who established America vested control of the military in a civilian government, with a civilian commander-in-chief. They did not want a military government, ruled by force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution.

Unfortunately, with the Constitution under constant attack, the military’s power, influence and authority have grown dramatically. Even the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which makes it a crime for the government to use the military to carry out arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other activities normally handled by a civilian police force, has been weakened by both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who ushered in exemptions allowing troops to deploy domestically and arrest civilians in the wake of alleged terrorist acts.

Now we find ourselves struggling to retain some semblance of freedom in the face of police and law enforcement agencies that look and act like the military and have just as little regard for the Fourth Amendment, laws such as the NDAA that allow the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens, and military drills that acclimate the American people to the sight of armored tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, and combat aircraft patrolling overhead.

Making matters worse, we find out that the military plans to use southwestern states as staging grounds for guerilla warfare drills in which highly-trained military troops equipped with all manner of weapons turn American towns and cities in quasi-battlefields. Why? As they tell us, it’s so that special operations forces can get “realistic military training” in “hostile” territory.

They’ve even got a name for the exercise: Jade Helm 15.

Whether or not Americans have anything to fear from Jade Helm 15, a covert, multi-agency, multi-state, eight-week military training exercise set to take place this summer from July 15 through Sept. 15, remains to be seen.

Insisting that there’s nothing to be alarmed about, the Washington Post took great pains to point out that these military exercises on American soil are nothing new. For instance, there wasOperation Bold Alligator, in which in which thousands of Marines and sailors carried out amphibious exercises against “insurgent” forces in Georgia and Florida.Operation Robin Sage had Green Beret soldiers engaging in guerrilla warfare in North Carolina. And Operation Derna Bridge sends Marine special forces into parts of South Carolina and the National Forest.

Yet if Americans are uneasy about this summer’s planned Jade Helm 15 military exercises, they have every right to be. After all, haven’t we been urged time and time again to just “trust” the government to respect our rights and abide by the rule of law only to find that, in fact, our rights were being plundered and the Constitution disregarded at every turn?

Let’s assume, for the moment, that Jade Helm 15 is not a thinly veiled military plot to take over the country lifted straight out of director John Frankenheimer’s 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May, as some fear, but is merely a “routine” exercise for troops, albeit a blatantly intimidating flexing of the military’s muscles.

The problem arises when you start to add Jade Helm onto the list of other troubling developments that have taken place over the past 30 years or more:  the expansion of the military industrial complex and its influence in Washington DC, the rampant surveillance, the corporate-funded elections and revolving door between lobbyists and elected officials, the militarized police, the loss of our freedoms, the injustice of the courts, the privatized prisons, the school lockdowns, the roadside strip searches, the military drills on domestic soil, the fusion centers and the simultaneous fusing of every branch of law enforcement (federal, state and local), the stockpiling of ammunition by various government agencies, the active shooter drills that are indistinguishable from actual crises, the economy flirting with near collapse, etc.

Suddenly, the overall picture seems that much more sinister. Clearly, as I point out in my new book Battlefield America:  The War on the American People, there’s a larger agenda at work here.

Seven years ago, the U.S. Army War College issued a report calling on the military to be prepared should they need to put down civil unrest within the country.

Summarizing the report, investigative journalist Chris Hedges declared, “The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a ‘violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,’ which could be provoked by ‘unforeseen economic collapse,’ ‘purposeful domestic resistance,’ ‘pervasive public health emergencies’ or ‘loss of functioning political and legal order.’ The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’”

At what point will all of the government’s carefully drawn plans for dealing with civil unrest, “homegrown” terrorism and targeting pre-crime become a unified blueprint for locking down the nation?

For instance, what’s the rationale behind turning government agencies into military outposts? There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department.

As of 2008, “73 federal law enforcement agencies… [employ] approximately 120,000 armed full-time on-duty officers with arrest authority.” Four-fifths of those officers are under the command of either the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice.

What’s with all of the government agencies stockpiling hollow point bullets? For example, why does the Department of Agriculture need .40 caliber semiautomatic submachine guns and 320,000 rounds of hollow point bullets? For that matter, why do its agents need ballistic vests and body armor?

Why does the Postal Service need “assorted small arms ammunition”? Why did the DHS purchase “1.6 billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition, along with 7,000 fully-automatic 5.56x45mm NATO ‘personal defense weapons’ plus a huge stash of 30-round high-capacity magazines”?

That’s in addition to the FBI’s request for 100 million hollow-point rounds. The Department of Education, IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, are also among the federal agencies which have taken to purchasing ammunition and weaponry in bulk.

Why is the federal government distributing obscene amounts of military equipment, weapons and ammunition to police departments around the country? And why is DHS acquiring more than 2,500 Mine-Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles, only to pass them around to local police departments across the country? According to the "New York Times:"

[A]s President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice. During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft. The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.

Why is the military partnering with local police to conduct training drills around the country? And what exactly are they training for?

In Richland, South Carolina, for instance, U.S. army special forces participated in joint and secretive exercises and training with local deputies. The public was disallowed from obtaining any information about the purpose of the drills, other than being told that they might be loud and to not be alarmed. The Army and DHS also carried out similar drills and maneuvers involving Black Hawk helicopters in Texas, Florida, and other locations throughout the U.S., ostensibly in order to provide local police with “realistic” urban training.

What is being done to protect the American populace from the threat of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, being used against them? Policy analysts point to Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities” (issued on Dec. 29, 2010), as justification for the government’s use of military force to put down civil unrest within the United States.

Why is FEMA stockpiling massive quantities of emergency supplies? On January 10, 2014, FEMA made a statement enlisting the service of contractors who could “supply medical biohazard disposal capabilities and 40 yard dumpsters to 1,000 tent hospitals across the United States; all required on 24-48 hour notice.” This coincides with other medical requests seeking massive amounts of supplies, such as “31,000,000 flu vaccinations,” “100,000 each of winter shirts and pants and the same for summer” and other goods and services requests as well like tarps, manufactured housing units, and beverages. And why does the TSA need $21,000 worth of potassium chlorate, a chemical compound often used in explosives?

Why is the Pentagon continuing to purchase mass amounts of ammunition while at the same time preparing to destroy more than $1 billion worth of bullets and missiles that are still viable?

Moreover, what is really being done to hold the Pentagon accountable for its doctored ledgers, fraud, waste and mismanagement, which has cost the taxpayer trillions of dollars?

According to "Reuters," “The Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China's economic output.”

Given the similarities between the government’s Live Active Shooter Drill training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, which can and do fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers and bystanders into thinking it’s a real crisis, how much of what is being passed off as real is, in fact, being staged by DHS for the “benefit” of training law enforcement, leaving us none the wiser? These training exercises come complete with their own set of professionally trained Crisis Actors playing the parts of shooters, bystanders and victims in order to help schools and first responders create realistic drills, full-scale exercises, high-fidelity simulations, and interactive 3D films.

Given that Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack, why is the government spending trillions of dollars on “national security”? How exactly is the $75 billion given to various intelligence agencies annually to keep us “safe” being spent? And why is the DHS giving away millions of dollars’ worth of federal security grants to states that federal intelligence agencies ruled have “no specific foreign or domestic terrorism threat”? Why is the government amassing names and information on Americans considered to be threats to the nation, and what criteria is the government using for this database?

Keep in mind that this personal information is being acquired and kept without warrant or court order. It’s been suggested that in the event of nuclear war, the destruction of the U.S. Government, and the declaration of martial law, this Main Core database, which as of 2008 contained some 8 million names of Americans, would be used by military officials to locate and round up Americans seen as threats to national security, a program to be carried about by the Army and FEMA.

Taken individually, these questions are alarming enough. But put them together and they add up to the kind of trouble that the American founding fathers not only warned against but from which they fought to free themselves.

Indeed, when viewed collectively, they leave one wondering what exactly the U.S. government is preparing for and whether American citizens shouldn’t be preparing, as well, for that eventuality when our so-called “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is no longer answerable to “we the people.”

Loving those SCOTUS decisions affecting your ability to vote?

How about the ones influenced by that most highly placed (now) Justice Clarence Thomas?

Beware (be aware) of your friends' judgments as well as your enemies'.

From Corey Robin:

Fight Racism. Confirm Clarence Thomas.

I’ve been reading Jill Abramson’s and Jane Mayer’s Strange Justice:  The Selling of Clarence Thomas," the definitive account of Thomas’s confirmation battle, which came out in 1994. Here are eight things I’ve learned from it. Among the many surprises of the book is how men and women who were connected to the confirmation battle, or to Thomas and/or Anita Hill, and who were little known at the time, would go on to become fixtures of and issues in our contemporary politics and culture.

1. Edward P. Jones, author of The Known World, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, was Clarence Thomas’s classmate at Holy Cross. They had long conversations.

2. Clarence Thomas was head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for eight years. When Bush nominated him to the Supreme Court, Strom Thurmond proudly declared, “I’ve known Clarence since he was head of the Unemployment Commission.”

3. Gary Bauer and Bill Kristol vacationed together at the beach each summer, along with their families. In the summer of 1991, at the Delaware shore, they planned the Christian right’s campaign to get Thomas confirmed to the Supreme Court.

4. "Citizens United" was formed by Floyd Brown in 1988 in the wake of the failed effort to get Robert Bork onto the Supreme Court. Brown helped make the Willie Horton ad. Getting Clarence Thomas confirmed by the Senate was one of the organization’s first missions. In 2010, Thomas was part of the slim majority that ruled in favor of "Citizens United" in "Citizens United v. FEC." Though several arguments for his recusal in the case were brought up at the time, no one mentioned "Citizens United"’s contributions to his confirmation.

5. One of the ads pushing for Thomas’s Senate confirmation to the Court featured a photo of Thomas with the headline “To the Back of the Bus!” The copy read:

As the left strives to keep Judge Clarence Thomas from his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s like forcing blacks to take a seat in the back of the bus. Fight racism. Call your U.S. Senators and urge them to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas.

6. Angela Wright, one of Thomas’s accusers whose testimony was buried by the Senate Judiciary Committee, worked for Charlie Rose(,) a Democratic congressman from North Carolina.

7. Kimberlé Crenshaw was part of the legal team advising Anita Hill.

8. Thomas liked to say that his favorite character in Star Wars was Darth Vader.

9. One of the charges levied against Thomas in the hearings was that he had once spoken favorably about the views of Steve Macedo, the Princeton political theorist, who was at the time a conservative (and a professor at Harvard). There was an extended colloquy during the hearings between then Senator Joseph Biden, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Thomas — Utah Republican Orren Hatch also got in on it at one point — about whether and why Thomas was attracted to Macedo’s views on natural law and property rights.

10. Along with Kimberlé Crenshaw, Janet Napolitano, Obama’s former Homeland Security Secretary, was also part of the legal team advising Anita Hill. Now she is the President of the University of California, where Crenshaw is a professor.

11. One of the leitmotifs of Mayer’s and Abramson’s book is how much Biden botched the Thomas/Hill hearings. From beginning — when Hill’s allegations first came to light — to end, when the Senate voted to approve Thomas, Biden got played, was cowed, caved into pressure from the White House and the Republicans, or simply didn’t care or understand enough of the issue to push for a fuller and fairer investigation of the facts.

12. When Howard Metzenbaum, also on the Judiciary Committee, found out the specifics of Anita Hill’s allegations about Thomas, the Ohio senator said, “If that’s sexual harassment, half the senators on Capitol Hill could be accused.”

Click the subject link for the whole story.

CIA Trying to Link Conspiracy Theorists with Osama bin Laden

A new government report revealing a list of books allegedly seized by US special forces when they raided Osama bin Laden's compound and killed him in 2011 is “ludicrous” and a “complete fabrication,” an American scholar says.

The CIA is trying to create a connection between so-called conspiracy theorists who are in fact critics of the US government and Bin Laden, said James Henry Fetzer, a retired professor in Madison, Wisconsin.

The US government labels its critics as conspiracy theorists in order to dismiss them in the eyes of the public, Fetzer told Press TV on Friday.

Independent analysts, dubbed by the mainstream US media as conspiracy theorists, have always maintained that the September 11, 2001 attacks have been covered-up by the FBI and senior US officials because it was the “mother of all false flag” operations.

“The fact of the matter is [that] Osama had nothing to with 9/11,” Fetzer said. “This is another desperate attempt by the government to suppress information about 9/11, about Osama bin Laden and about US complicity in the events of 9/11, all of which is attempting to do with this single, simply completely ridiculous story about Osama bin Laden's reading list which is a complete fabrication.”

On Wednesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an extensive list of materials which they said were collected by US Navy SEALs during the 2011 raid that supposedly killed Bin Laden.

The agency, which oversees US intelligence agencies, unveiled the contents of Bin Laden's library from his compound at Abbottabad, Pakistan, in an effort to increase "transparency."

The release comes four years (after) a reported US military mission that allegedly killed Bin Laden and allowed commandos to seize letters, books and other intelligence on the al-Qaeda terrorist network he founded.

Washington announced on May 2, 2011 that Bin Laden was killed in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by US special forces and CIA operatives.

Osama was the founder of al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization that allegedly claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The September 11 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.



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Monday, May 25, 2015

(Like Good Fiction? How About Really Bad Fiction?)  Welcome To More Gov't Lies  (Yes, You're Welcomed To Them)  Very Fragile Neuroplasticity?



[Been watching Noam Chomsky's talk with John Nichols of "The Nation" on LINK TV this weekend? You should. It has my highest recommendation for everyone, especially those who'd really like to figure out what's been happening in politics for the last 40 years (and insight on The Mondragón and Podemos successes).  Dynamite TV!]

I've been reconsidering H.G. Welles' brilliant book War of the Worlds and the resulting movies, especially the panic-inducing 1938 radio broadcast that was narrated and directed by Orson Welles, the brilliant 1953 movie (and, yes, the Stephen Spielberg failure with Tom Cruise, currently on TNT, is surely at the bottom of the movie pit), and wondering if that half-alertness or almost zombie-likeness I'd detected in the characters (okay, maybe it's mainly Cruise' forte although Tim Robbins runs a strong second) can also be detected in our citizenry's response to important government pronouncements for the last several decades. Although all of us are running in panic-stricken fright from the plans for the TPP and our democracy's final demise at the hands of the neolib cons.

I've mentioned the huge jump in gasoline prices lately that has seemed to escape public commentary (not data mining though), but here's how that relates to the real world situation (or so it would seem in my mind's eye).

When Obama was elected and immediately we were treated to the implementation of the opposite of the policies on which he ran, I thought that it must mean that the fix was in. (Nothing else made sense, but every time I mentioned it to various political groupings I was accused of not understanding his eleventy-sided chess game against the real baddies.)

And then he ran. And won again. As if the voters had no choice but to choose someone who had already sold them out. Lesser Evilism it was pronounced (from on high).

Turns out that not only have the election choices (most probably) been fixed, but that almost all the figures from which citizens believe they make these decisions have also been fixed.

For a very long time.

Why wouldn't all of our candidates be also?

Got the following link from Paul Craig Roberts. Remember who he is?

This could be the most important hint we've received in decades. Just a hint, but this one with real numbers attached.

The Government Fraudulently Reported April Inflation Numbers

May 22, 2015

There’s no B.S. like the BLS – Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Consumer Price Index for April this morning. This Ministry of “Truth” published an inflation report that asserts that consumer inflation rose .1% month over month for April.   But a further dissection of the numbers shows that the BLS has the price of gasoline falling 1.7% during April.

This is either a politically motivated act of fraud or complete incompetence on the part of the Government statisticians and data gatherers (the Census Bureau).

In fact, the price of gasoline rose over 12% during April – the fastest monthly rise in history:

gasoline

As you can see, the price of gasoline rose from $1.77 to $2.00 during the month of April. Either the people running the BLS are complete incompetent idiots or have been given strict orders from above – i.e. the White House – to produce politically friendly economic reports. Let’s call the BLS “The Ministry of Disinformation.”

The BLS’ distortion of the data it reports is far greater and fraudulent that ANYONE is willing to admit, investigate or report.

Here’s what they did to gold after that fraud-filled CPI report was released (click to enlarge):

Gold hit

Any questions as to the political motivation behind the Government’s intentional release of fraudulent economic data?


Thoughts on “The Government Fraudulently Reported April Inflation Numbers”

  1. actually Gasoline was 2.05 at the close on 4/30 which makes the price increase for April higher.
    The real question is whether anything is correct or even reasonably correct in government reporting.

    1. Almost all the economic data from basically all governments on Earth are completely and totally false. I read the book, In The Plex, about Google and it’s founders and the father of Sergey Brin was a Soviet Economist. Brin’s father and his phD colleagues were tasked with constantly coming up with new formulas, equations and weightings to use statistics to lie to the Soviet people by the government. New formulas were constantly released and changed to show there was never any inflation in the Soviet Union and that the Soviet standard of living for individual regular citizens was much higher than the average middle class American. We are seeing a lot of this now from the US, UK, China, Japan, ECB, etc., except the difference is Wall St, mainstream academia, mainstream media and many sheeple who haven’t woken up yet believe all this information the government puts out. Soviet citizens didn’t believe anything the government said and most believed the exact opposite. There’s a lot of people who have blind faith in governments for doing the right thing and being mostly honest.
    1. It’s the main trading algorithm used by the Fed/bullion banks and administered by the BIS, per our interview with Jeff Nielson
    2. They Jailed Bernie Maddoff for running a Ponzi Scheme yet do the very same themselves.
      Whole lot should face Jail Time and not Bail (out) these Bastards.
Take a look at this article from "The Baffler."

It just might change your mind about the all-knowingness MSM myth about "Silicon Valley." (And "Wall Street.")

We had once imagined that human attention was infinitely divisible, with each particle of it potentially available to advertisers, entertainers, and employers. But it was turning out to be fragile, even endangered, and in need of constant repair.

Where brilliance and creativity had formerly reigned, there were, by the turn of the millennium, suspicions of pathology. Child psychiatrists began to drop “bipolarity” as a default diagnosis and turn their attention to attention itself. Too many children were deficient in it, just as their plugged-in parents were often guilty of “distracted parenting.”

The switch from bipolarity to attention deficit disorder is hard to date exactly, in part because these conditions are now said to be frequently “comorbid,” or overlapping. But as we began to spend more and more of our time interacting with mood-less programs and devices, psychiatry seems to have turned from emotional concerns like bipolarity, which is a “mood disorder,” to cognitive problems like ADD and ADHD.

At the same time, diagnoses of autism and Asperger’s syndrome were skyrocketing — especially, as a 2001 article in "Wired" pointed out, in Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley.

Among the adult population, surely something was wrong with Steve Jobs, who alternated between obsessive attention to details and complete withdrawal into himself, between a spiritual aloofness and uncontrolled temper tantrums. Some observers thought they detected a hint of autism in the unblinking, almost affect-free Bill Gates, and the characters in HBO’s "Silicon Valley" are portrayed as well “within the spectrum.”

So Silicon Valley embraced mindfulness with a twinge of contrition. Not only did its corporate culture encourage something called “geek syndrome,” but its products seemed to spread that same derangement to everyone else. The devices that were supposed to make us smarter and more connected to other humans were actually messing with our minds, causing “net brain” and “monkey mind,” as well as physical disorders associated with long hours of sitting.

As we click between Twitter and Facebook, text and hypertext, one link and another, synapses are being formed and then broken with febrile inconstancy — or so a growing number of experts, such as MIT’s Sherry Turkle, warn us — leaving the neuronal scaffolding too fragile to house large thoughts.

A less arrogant industry might have settled for warning labels on its phones and pads, but Silicon Valley wanted an instant cure, preferably one that was hi-tech and marketable. The great advantage of mindfulness was that it seemed to be based firmly on science; no “hippie bullshit” or other “woo woo” was involved.

A neuroscientist reported that Buddhist monks with about ten thousand hours of meditation under their belts had altered brain functions; shorter bouts of meditation seemed to work at least temporary changes in novices. The field of “contemplative neuroscience” was born, and Silicon Valley seized on it for a much-needed “neural hack.” Through meditation, monastic or app-guided, anyone could reach directly into their own moist brain tissue and “resculpt” it in a calmer, more attentive direction. Mindfulness, as its promoters put it, fosters “neuroplasticity.”

Ha Ha. HA!

Read the entire article here.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

(Our Soldiers Died for Secret Agendas of Which They Knew Nothing. Capitalists Hid Their Self-Interests Behind the Flag, and Our Boys Died for the One Percent’s Bottom Line)  Memorial Day A Hoax? (What US Should Remember)   What Does the MIC Buy With US Taxes?  (Al-Qaeda and ISIS are Products of US and Saudi Imperialism)  Neil Young Sets New Agendas


“Fast Track” Violates the U.S. Constitution

This Is What Happens To Truth-Tellers in America

Isn't it about time you figured out what your country is doing to you and your grandchildren?

After all, it's only self defense.

The National Endowment for Democracy was established in 1983. The official purpose is to promote democracy abroad. The real purpose was to create dissension in Soviet Eastern Europe. Today the NED uses our tax money to overthrow governments not aligned with Washington.

The NED funds non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries targeted by Washington for political destabilization. These NGOs operate under such rubrics as “teaching democracy” and “human rights.” The NGOs develop cadres consisting of idealistic students and disgruntled politicians and set them against the existing government whose independence Washington wishes to curtail.

The idealistic students are simply dupes, and the disgruntled politicians simply desire power in office and will serve Washington in order to get it.

According to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Washington spent $5 billion in Ukraine grooming politicians and creating NGOs as Washington’s Fifth Columns. When Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich refused to align Ukraine with Washington’s interests, Washington unleashed its Fifth Columns, and Yanukovich’s government was overthrown with violence. Despite Washington’s talk about democracy, the fact that Yanukovich’s government was democratically elected and a new election was only a few months away did not stop Washington from overthrowing Yanukovich.

Now the same fate seems in store for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgystan, and Macedonia. Most Americans don’t know where these places are. Armenia and Azerbaijan are east of the Caspian Sea and are former provinces of the Soviet Union. Kyrgystan is a former Soviet province that borders China. Macedonia, birthplace of Alexander the Great, is a part of northern Greece, but in the 20th century portions of Macedonia became parts of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania before becoming a province in Yugoslavia. When Washington destroyed Yugoslavia, Macedonia became an independent republic of two million people. Macedonia is landlocked and surrounded by Greece on the south, Bulgaria on the east, Albania on the west, and by Serbia and Washington-created Kosovo on the north.

Why is Washington interested in controlling Macedonia?

The Macedonian government refused to participate in Washington’s sanctions against Russia and supports the Russian Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline that will deliver Russian natural gas to Europe via Turkey to the Greek border.

Greece is being looted by the European Union, the IMF, and the German and Dutch banks. Consequently, Greece is being pushed into Russia’s arms as Russian support is Greece’s only alternative to the crippling austerity that the EU is forcing upon the Greek people. Macedonia sits between Greece and Serbia, a country with no love lost for Washington and the EU as a result of Serbia’s dismemberment by Washington and NATO aggression. Washington fears the flow of Russian energy, over which Washington would have no control, into its European vassal states via Russian allies in Europe.

If Washington can grab Macedonia, Washington can stand between Greece and Serbia and perhaps persuade Greece to align with a Washington-supported natural gas pipeline that would supply Europe from Azerbaijan, thus reducing Russia’s influence in Europe.

. . . From an American perspective, as contrasted with Washington’s perspective, the question is whether the reckless pursuit of US hegemony is worth the risk of war with Russia and China. The neoconservatives, who have an iron grip on US foreign policy, believe that hegemony is worth any risk. But do Americans derive sufficient vicarious pleasure from a handful of neocons lording it over the world to accept the risk of nuclear war?

The naked aggression that Washington is displaying toward Russia should alarm not only the American people but also the entire world. War is in the making. War with Russia means war also with China. This is not a war that Washington and its vassals or human life can win.

Not bored yet with today's free geography/history lesson? Read the whole essay here.

And start to think seriously about what that 54% of the USA USA USA budget the Military-Industrial Complex owns is now buying.

Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company. Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. Capitalists hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for the One Percent’s bottom line.

Jade Helm, an exercise that pits the US military against the US public, is scheduled to run July 15 through September 15. What is the secret agenda behind Jade Helm?


The Soviet Union was a partial check on capitalist looting in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, with the Soviet collapse capitalist looting intensified during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes.

Neoliberal Globalization is now looting its own constituent parts and the planet itself. Americans, Greeks, Irish, British, Italians, Ukrainians, Iraqis, Libyans, Argentinians, the Spanish and Portuguese are being looted of their savings, pensions, social services, and job opportunities, and the planet is being turned into a wasteland by capitalists sucking the last penny out of the environment.

As Claudia von Werlhof writes, predatory capitalism is consuming the globe.

We need a memorial day to commemorate the victims of neoliberal globalization. All of us are its victims, and in the end the capitalists also.

And here's a Memorial Day messenger to remind us once again how lucky we are.

To have him around to remind us who and what the rich truly are.

ongressman Darrell Issa, America’s richest Congressman with a net worth of nearly $500 million, says the nation’s poor are actually doing very well. Issa told CNN that “our poor are… the envy of the world.” 

. . . In reality, economic mobility in American is lower than in many developed countries. According to research by Miles Corak, there is less economic mobility in America than in Switzerland, Pakistan, Singapore, France, Spain, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark.

Even in terms of raw dollars, America’s poor are far behind “compared with their counterparts in other affluent countries.” At the 10th percentile of income, for example, Canadians make 30 percent more and Norwegians makes 60 percent more.

According to a study by Luke Shaefer and Kathryn Edin, “millions of Americans live on less than $2 a day — a threshold commonly used to measure poverty in the developing world.”

Comments:

# sibbaldflats 2015-05-10 11:03
People like Issa are America's shame to the world. It doesn't go unnoticed abroad. It seems to go unnoticed in the U.S. where millions of people continue to vote these assclowns into power. It is astonishing that these GOPers, who "work" full time in screwing Americans, can be remotely competitive in public opinion.
# WallStWallFlowerGirl 2015-05-10 11:04
When these bag cakes talk about the poor as if they walk a day in their shoes, I wonder why WE ALLOW rich indifference to be at the helm of American governance. Not only does he get all the perks, free meals and vacations as a member of the One Percent Club, but as a card-carrying "socialist," he also enjoys the security of tax-paid health care employed by US.

Why should he get paid at all? He can live off his fat reserves better than a 1000 working-class neighborhoods across the nation!

There's nothing we can do about how rich he is, but there is something we can do about keeping him employed. As long as the constituents of the state he's a "public (ha!) servant" of keep him in on the dole, Marie Antoinette lives long and prospers.

No surprises left?

Not here.

Don’t Blame Islam:  Al-Qaeda and ISIS are Products of US and Saudi Imperialism
"Jacobin" takes a “slightly” different view of the “threat” Kristol & Co. have turned into a full-on industrial complex. David Mizner traces the roots of al-Qaeda, ISIS and so-called “Lone Wolf” attackers back through decades of geopolitical games by the US and its Saudi partners. It began during the embryonic stages of the Cold War, took flight when the CIA gave birth to al-Qaeda and unleashed The Furies when the US destroyed Iraq.

Neil Young reminds us what the rich have planned for our health.

And how to fight it.

GOODBYE STARBUCKS!!!

Starbucks Logo I used to line up and get my latte everyday, but yesterday was my last one.
    Starbucks has teamed up with Monsanto to sue Vermont, and stop accurate food labeling.
    Tell Starbucks to withdraw support for the lawsuit -- we have a right to know what we put in our mouths.
    Starbucks doesn't think you have the right to know what's in your coffee. So it's teamed up with Monsanto to sue the small U.S. state of Vermont to stop you from finding out.
    Hiding behind the shadowy "Grocery Manufacturers Association," Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that's aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled. Amazingly, it claims that the law is an assault on corporations' right to free speech.
    Monsanto might not care what we think -- but as a public-facing company, Starbucks does. If we can generate enough attention, we can push Starbucks to withdraw its support for the lawsuit, and then pressure other companies to do the same.
    Vermont is a small, entirely rural state with just 600,000 people. It's a classic David and Goliath fight between Vermont and Monsanto. Considering that Starbucks has been progressive on LGBT and labor issues in the past, it's disappointing that it is working with the biggest villain of them all, Monsanto. Monsanto Logo
    There's much more at stake here than just whether GMO foods will be labeled in a single U.S. state. Vermont is the very first state in the U.S. to require labeling. Dozens of other states have said that they will follow this path -- in order to encourage this, we need to ensure that Vermont's law stands strong.
    That's why Monsanto and its new allies are fighting so hard to kill GMO labeling in Vermont.
    But whatever you think of GMOs, corporations should not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate, democratic decisions with strong public backing.
    SumOfUs is already fighting back -- they helped Vermont raise almost a quarter of a million dollars to defend themselves against Monsanto's bullying! Help them by going to SumOfUs and registering to donate or sign a petition. The next strategic step is to pressure and call out members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the shadowy body leading the lawsuit. Your backing can help.
    Add your voice now. Tell Starbucks to stop supporting the lawsuit against Vermont.
    Thanks for caring!
    Neil Young
  


92-MEMBER ORCHESTRA & CHOIR RECORDS "WHO'S GONNA STAND UP?"

September 20, 2014

 
      What started as a live Crazy Horse song and was introduced to thousands of audience members wearing organic cotton EARTH shirts this fall in Europe has now been recorded live on the old MGM Sound Stage, (Now SONY), in Hollywood. With over sixty of the music industry's finest musicians and a thirty-voice choir, this epic version resonates with a sound that has never been heard on a protest song before.
      Neil Young and all of these ninety musicians and singers recorded the song live together with no overdubs. Arrangement is by Christopher Walden. Mix is by Al Schmitt, who is one of the great "eminences grises" of the American music world, the most decorated engineer/mixer in Grammy history, and the recording is produced by "The Volume Dealers." 

 
      Listen to it here. Whos Gonna Stand Up Lyrics

Scene from Under The Influence
  



LINCVOLT PROVES YOU DON'T NEED THE TAR SANDS

June 13, 2013

Lincvolt is living proof. The big car has a lot to say. An 86% reduction in Greenhouse Gases per gallon of fossil fuel if you burn next-generation bio fuel instead of gasoline. That is the future. Cellulosic ethanol. Canada should be ashamed of the Alberta Tar Pits. 
 
    -- Neil Young. photo of tar sands
 

    "The tar sands have impacted First Nations so badly. I am 85 years old and us old people are having such a hard time today because this is not what we knew growing up. We used to drink the water straight from the streams and creeks, and now no one can do that. We don't know what is in the water now. I eat very little of the food I grew up on, moose, caribou, fish... it is all sick. We don't even eat the berries and medicines anymore because there is too much pollution in the air and the land. When I was growing up people just died of old age, now there are so many sicknesses that were never here before."
    Don't believe the oil company propaganda you are subsidizing? Do something.
   


photo of Neil Young
NEIL YOUNG: WAGING HEAVY INNOVATION

By Henry Doss, Forbes, January 14, 2013
"I am succeeding because people are talking about how they would do it better."


- Neil Young, Waging Heavy Peace


    Innovation is not for the faint of heart, nor for those who lack the capacity for joy. Leading an innovation culture means living inside of chaos, while maintaining a focus on cardinal points; operating within demanding goals and financial requirements while remaining open to diverse and contradictory points of view; sometimes "losing your way to find your way." Above all else, though, authentic leadership is about experiencing and celebrating the joy of innovation. And if you are looking for a good role model -- someone who best exemplifies all the traits of innovation leadership -- you need look no further than Neil Young.
    There are countless books, monographs, studies, articles and blogs addressing the issues of leadership and innovation, and more coming every day. But Neil Young's recently released autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace, may serve as the best innovation case study out there. For those who study the "how" of innovation, and in particular the often mysterious challenge of leading innovation, Young's life story captures it all in one compelling read.
    Throughout his long and storied career, Neil Young has been a virtual factory of songs, musical innovation, ideas, inventions and a near-constant stream of new product. Lest we miss the obvious, his life and work would fit the most stringent definition of a successful business: consistent revenue generation; consistent innovative product releases; nurturing of intellectual and human capital; a strong, well-maintained brand. And at the core of this lifetime of business success are two critical innovation principles consistently applied, day in and day out, in real time, in the real world.
    First, and foremost, is Young's steady, constant leadership of his own innovation ecosystem. As with any authentic leader, his concern is not about himself, or what he creates, but with how his actions inspire, challenge and cause others to create. "I am succeeding because people are talking about how they would do it better." This quotation from Young's book captures the essence of innovation leadership better than any other business, professional or academic study of leadership. Simply stated, we cause innovation when we are more concerned about how others are "doing it better," than we are with ourselves. This is the confounding irony of leadership - that innovation requires both strong individual leadership and a powerful commitment to selflessness. Individual leaders are more successful -- and more innovative -- to the degree their focus is on the success of others before their own.
    Second is the "virtual innovation ecosystem" that Young built around his music and restless inventing. Throughout his long (and future!) career, he instinctively nurtured the key elements of innovative ecosystems. His is a world of learning by doing, of enhancing and celebrating diversity and building an environment of trust. The components of innovative systems -- diversity, trust, iterative experimentation, rapid failure, and so on- are well-known and well-studied. These constitute the "whats" of innovation. Innovation leaders like Neil Young provide the "how" of innovation, the steady hand that supports diverse, inquisitive and adventurous communities through the messiness and chaos of innovation.
    What Neil Young gives us in Waging Heavy Peace is a compelling story about leading innovative people, and nurturing the various components of innovative systems into the proper mix. Any organization would do well to study this narrative and learn from it. Selfless leadership, driven by a near-obsessive desire to create, will almost always lead to good things. And one of those things will be joy. Keep on rockin' in the free world.

 
    (Henry Doss is a venture capitalist, student, musician and volunteer in higher education. His firm, T2VC, builds startups and the ecosystems that grow them. His university, UNC Charlotte, is a leading research institution with a small college feel. His band, Amygdala Hijack, makes sounds.)





Neil Young teams with rainforest campaign
NEIL YOUNG TEAMS WITH CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE RAINFOREST
"This technology enables the forest to talk to the world," says Young


By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, July 28, 2014
 
Just four months after fully funding his Pono Music campaign via KickStarter, Neil Young has turned his attention to an even more worthwhile cause: saving the rainforest. He's teamed up with Rainforest Connection to help them raise much-needed funds. "[This] is a technology that's a connection between the rainforest and you," says Young. "This technology enables the forest to talk to the world. When the forest is threatened, the forest can speak and you can hear it."
    The central idea behind Rainforest Connection is as simple as it is brilliant: Old cellphones are retrofitted with a solar-powered energy source and placed in trees around the rainforest. When they pick up the sound of chainsaws, animals in distress or gunshots, they alert authorities in real time. "Current detection systems rely on satellites which show rainforest destruction days or weeks too late," says a note on the group's Kickstarter page. "Our system provides the world's first real-time logging/poaching detection system. We can pinpoint deforestation activity the moment it begins, while simultaneously streaming the data openly and immediately to anyone around the world."
    Read more here.



Friday, May 22, 2015

Another Denied Felony Charge Befalls "Poor" Di(a)mon(d) Jim/JP Morgan Chase  (Truth About Ethiopian Forced Displacement/ Repression)  Why U.S. Citizens Believe Almost Anything They Are Told (Not by Scientists or Mathematicians, Of Course)  Validated by Your Stuff?



[Just watched "Independent Lens" this morning on my local public TV station, which covered in an hour-and-a-half program ("1971"), made in 2015, the 1971 break-in at an FBI office and theft of thousands of files, showing how the FBI had violated citizens' rights for years during its COINTELPRO operations (including urging the suicide of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), and its exposure by the Church Committee in 1975. I recommend it highly.]


The guys (and I do mean guys) who rule the USA USA USA Financial Corruption Mafia are pretty typical in their response to being charged with being really, really bad (and unpatriotic) citizens (criminals, actually).

It's not them, you see.

It's only a few bad apples, whom they have never had in their living rooms.

Or clubs.

And that makes it okay.

Or at least means they have no idea what you're talking about.


JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Deals With His Bank’s Felony Charge – Badly


By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

May 21, 2015

JPMorgan Tries to Claim It's a Felon Because of  One Bad Apple

JPMorgan Tries to Claim It’s a Felon Because of One Bad Apple

After more than 200 years of operation, yesterday JPMorgan Chase became an admitted felon. That action for foreign currency rigging came less than two years after the bank was charged with two felony counts and given a deferred prosecution agreement for aiding and abetting Bernie Madoff in the largest Ponzi fraud in history. The felony counts came amid three years of non-stop charges against JPMorgan Chase for unthinkable frauds:  from rigging electric markets to ripping off veterans to charging credit card customers for fictitious credit monitoring and manipulating the Libor interest rate benchmark.

Against this backdrop of a serial crime spree on the part of employees on multiple continents and coast to coast in the United States, JPMorgan released a statement yesterday regarding the bank pleading guilty to a felony charge for engaging in the rigging of foreign currency trading, calling it “principally attributable to a single trader.” In the statement, Dimon says the bank has a “historically strong culture.”

Dimon is, if nothing else, a master of the grand illusion.

In 2012, when Dimon was asked about reports in the press that one of his London traders was making massive bets in derivatives, he called the matter a “tempest in a teapot.” That tempest, dubbed the London Whale scandal, cost JPMorgan Chase at least $6.2 billion in losses, over $1 billion in fines, and a scathing 306-page report from the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Subcommittee at the time, said JPMorgan “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.”

Attempting to foster the illusion that there was simply one bad apple behind JPMorgan having to finally plead guilty to a felony is not only an insult to the public, it flies in the face of five regulators’ findings in the matter. JPMorgan’s involvement in the rigging of foreign currency has now been looked at by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Reserve, and the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority. Not one of these regulators alluded to the problem as being one bad apple.

The CFTC placed the blame squarely at the feet of management, writing:  “This conduct occurred at various times over the course of the Relevant Period without detection by JPMC in part because of internal controls and supervisory failures at JPMC.”

Not only was the supervisor of Foreign Exchange at JPMorgan not fired, but as we reported last week, that individual, Troy Rohrbaugh, who has been head of Foreign Exchange at JPMorgan since 2005, is now serving in the dual role as Chair of the Foreign Exchange Committee at the New York Fed, helping his regulator establish best practices in foreign exchange trading.

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) detailed a wide-scale breakdown of management failures and risk controls and stated that JPMorgan’s front office was actually “involved in the misconduct.” The FCA wrote:


“Pursuant to its three lines of defence model, JPMorgan’s front office had primary responsibility for identifying, assessing and managing the risks associated with its G10 spot FX trading business. The front office failed adequately to discharge these responsibilities with regard to the risks described in this Notice. The right values and culture were not sufficiently embedded in JPMorgan’s G10 spot FX trading business, which resulted in it acting in JPMorgan’s own interests as described in this Notice, without proper regard for the interests of its clients, other market participants or the wider UK financial system. The lack of proper controls by JPMorgan over the activities of its G10 spot FX traders meant that misconduct went undetected for a number of years. Certain of those responsible for managing front office matters were aware of and/or at times involved in the misconduct.”

According to the U.S. Justice Department’s plea agreement with JPMorgan Chase, handed down yesterday, both “currency traders” and “sales staff” were involved in widespread wrongdoing. The plea agreement, to which JPMorgan consented, states:

“In addition to its participation in a conspiracy to fix, stabilize, maintain, increase or decrease the price of, and rig bids and offers for, the EUR/USD currency pair exchanged in the FX Spot Market, the defendant, through its currency traders and sales staff, also engaged in other currency trading and sales practices in conducting FX Spot Market transactions with customers via telephone, email, and/or electronic chat, to wit:  (i) intentionally working 17 customers’ limit orders one or more levels, or “pips,” away from the price confirmed with the customer; (ii) including sales markup, through the use of live hand signals or undisclosed prior internal arrangements or communications, to prices given to customers that communicated with sales staff on open phone lines; (iii) accepting limit orders from customers and then informing those customers that their orders could not be filled, in whole or in part, when in fact the defendant was able to fill the order but decided not to do so because the defendant expected it would be more profitable not to do so; and (iv) disclosing non-public information regarding the identity and trading activity of the defendant’s customers to other banks or other market participants, in order to generate revenue for the defendant at the expense of its customers.”

As of December 31, 2014, the commercial bank of JPMorgan Chase held $1.4 trillion in domestic and foreign deposits and $2.074 trillion in assets, making it the largest bank by assets in the United States. On February 12, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR), released a study of the banks that posed the greatest systemic risk to the global financial system. Using systemic risk scores that evaluated size, interconnectedness, substitutability, complexity, and cross-jurisdictional activities, JPMorgan came in with the most dangerous score of 5.05 for U.S. mega banks. And here’s the scariest part of the OFR study:  it didn’t evaluate criminal recidivist behavior. What would JPMorgan’s score have been if that aspect had been factored in?

Yesterday’s sobering actions by the U.S. Justice Department will be meaningless unless Congress wakes up and breaks up Wall Street’s behemoth banks by restoring the Glass-Steagall Act.


Think the continuing USA financial nightmare is getting a little bit wear(y)ing on the populace yet?

I'm not a conspiracist, but lots of things - and not just financial monkeyshines - are going on (and have gone on for decades) about which the public will never receive a proper explanation it seems.

Because there are no high-level conspiracies.

Right.

First off, my buddy, the Vulgar Curmudgeon, stated (knowingly) "As I Predicted In 2009, Wall St. Investors Amassing Ridiculous Amounts Of Foreclosed Real Estate."

And then this:

Ethiopians Break Their Silence Against Government Repression and Forced Displacement


New Landmark Testimony:  "We Say the Land is Not Yours"

Download the Press Release

Read the Report

Oakland, CA – We Say the Land is Not Yours:  Breaking the Silence against Forced Displacement in Ethiopia, a landmark report from the Oakland Institute documents testimony from members of several ethnic groups from different areas of the country, bringing forward the voices of those most directly impacted by land grabs and villagization. The Ethiopian government’s villagization program aims to resettle up to 1.5 million Ethiopians, mainly pastoralist and indigenous communities, from areas targeted for industrial plantations. These resettlements have happened without free, prior and informed consent, and when communities resist, they have been forcibly removed by means of violence, imprisonment, intimidation, political coercion, and the denial of humanitarian assistance.

“The Oakland Institute has released reports based on meticulous fieldwork and years of research, exposing the human rights abuses against indigenous and pastoralist communities in Ethiopia,” said Anuradha Mittal, the Oakland Institute’s Executive Director. “As the country now prepares for the national election in May 2015, it is important for communities that have been shut out and locked up, to tell their stories in their own words.”

Over the past few years, free speech in Ethiopia has been systemically withdrawn. International media and NGOs have documented the threats, arrests, and disappearances of those critical of government’s policies. To add to this is the lack of media freedom:  Ethiopia is the second biggest jailer of journalists after its neighbor, Eritrea. Its broadcasting and telecommunications sectors are controlled by the state, and the minimal private media sector is heavily regulated and frequently censored.

“The context in which we release this report is one of torture, oppression, and silencing,” said Mittal. “A development strategy without ensuring its citizens freedom of speech and expression is not a development strategy but a scheme to benefit the ruling elites. Those basic human rights are not being upheld in Ethiopia. It is therefore urgent to make voices of those impacted heard.”

The report includes the voices of Ethiopians, some who remain in Ethiopia, and others who have fled to neighboring countries and have sought political asylum.

With the impending national elections, the government has escalated its crackdown on political opposition and dissent. This report brings forth the voices that are being silenced, to bring this oppressive situation to the attention of the members of the African Union, international community, and donor countries. The time is now to take decisive action.
###
To download a copy of the report, click HERE.

For more information on Ethiopia, click HERE.

You might want to get a drink before enjoying the rest of this essay on the misuse of official position. Right. It's a long one.


Philip Marshall, subject of Link TV's exposé, "The Curious Case of Philip Marshall," which is being broadcast now, supposedly shot himself and his two adored children as well as their tiny Shia-tzu, after he had written three 9/11 exposures and was preparing a fourth for imminent publication. All his paper files and his computer were taken by the authorities and have never been returned to his survivors.

Marshall, a long-time CIA employee, was one of the notorious fly-boys who flew the planes from central America used to deliver cocaine to CIA operatives at various airports in the U.S., some of which was used to fund the Iran-Contra operation as well as many other "official" illegal activities (see Lt. Col. Ollie North's famousity for specific details).

As one critic said, lots of people wrote books about 9/11, so the one Marshall was just finishing must have been a book too far.

To someone(s) anyway.

This week two Republican officials were reported as also doing themselves in (in approximately the same manner).

Except that Marshall, who supposedly committed suicide by shooting himself in the left side of his head (after shooting his tiny pup and at some moment sitting his teen-aged son and daughter on the couch opposite him and shooting each of them in the head) was right handed.

Wonder which hand the two Republicans used.

What a country.

Marshall had a 9mm Glock. He was found lying on his back, shot in the left side of his head. One of the things I’m trying to find out is if he was right handed or left handed, I’m still trying to get that. But he was shot in the left side of his head, once, he was lying on his back with the gun underneath. Now, people react differently to gunshots, that could have been the case, y’know, if we consider it was a suicide, but the odd thing is is that he joked to his neighbors that even though he had this registered 9mm Glock he never had…he said “a lot of good it’ll do me, because I don’t have any ammo for it.” 

Now one of the things the Sheriff said he found was a box of 9mm ammunition with Marshall’s wedding ring on top of it. Friends and neighbors told me that after his separation from his wife, Marshall never wore his wedding ring, and so, why did the Sheriff leak this? The Sheriff leaked this to a family member, and of course it was picked up by the media, so it looked like there was some sort of attempt by the Sheriff to steer the media in a certain direction, even though, one, neighbors said that, y’know, he had no ammunition for this gun, but if it’s registered, obviously there’s a record that Marshall owned a 9mm Glock, so if somebody had a similar weapon they could have shot him with that, made it look…y’know, used his weapon, put it underneath, make it look like he did it. 

Interestingly enough, two reports the Sheriff has not released yet:   the toxicology tests to make sure that Marshall and his kids, and even the dog had not been, y’know, put under by some sort of, y’know, drug, and also the GSR, the Gunshot Residue Report, and that would be very critical to determining whether he shot himself, y’know, they do the paraffin tests and all that; whether he did it or it was, y’know, another assailant. So two critical reports. And even the local papers’ having trouble getting that GSR report. 

The toxicology, the claim is, it’s being handled by the chemist, y’know, the people who do that in Sacramento, so that’s delayed because of their backlogs. So two critical reports are out and the Sheriff still, with that in mind, has said conclusively that Marshall shot his kids, his dog and then himself.
BARRETT:  Conclusively.You wonder how far they can go in falsifying these reports about crime scenes, y’know, there are at least celebrated cases where Gary Webb is shot twice in the head and it’s called suicide, or Paul Wellstone’s plane goes down a week after he gets a threat from Cheney, and obviously dubious circumstances right before Wellstone is going to sweep into victory and stop the Iraq war and investigate 9/11, boom, his plane goes down, and they tell us there was bad weather, and there wasn’t, the weather was perfectly good, yet the whole news media tells us there was bad weather

How far can they go in making up these ridiculous stories, that the houses were so far apart that nobody could hear any gunshots when the houses were right on top of one another? I mean, obviously shot with a silencer. I mean, aren’t these people going to get caught?
MADSEN:  Yeah, and we should remember that Hunter S. Thompson was supposedly working a major article on 9/11. He supposedly shot himself too, and there were reports of maybe more than one type of gunshot there, so yeah, it happens, but as long as we have an FBI that’s complicit in these crimes, either through commission or omission, and a runaway Central Intelligence Agency, which if Obama gets his way, we’re going to get a pathological, remote control murderer in charge of that place, John Brennan. 

As long as this continues and we’re going have a weak Congress, which does not exercise even the, I would say, even the weak sort of control and oversight exhibited by Congress in the 70s by, y’know, I mean, give them credit, Frank Church and Otis Pike in the House, and Bella Abzug in the House, and they did what they could, but under tremendous counter-pressure, but we don’t even have anything like that these days to restrain these agencies, so, y’know, when people say “the CIA may have done it”, or some other black ops group in the US government, y’know, people say “oh, that’s conspiracy theory” – we’ve had the Senate already go on record, and the House, in the 1970s talking about these quote-unquote ‘conspiracy theories’ and documenting them in official House and Senate reports

So, I mean, this pejorative term that (is) thrown around by the Neo-Cons… they think that they’re so invulnerable that you can’t charge them with anything like them being like cult Kabbalists. Even Wolfowitz jokingly referred to himself and his cronies as “Kabbalists” . . .

BARRETT:  Yeah, there seems to be a lot of energy put into shaping the discourse, and y’know, developing these words that can be used to stop people from thinking like the word “conspiracy theorist”, and that term was apparently…we’ve traced it to a CIA memo, that was put out to their journalists assets. Of course, Operation Mockingbird was the the CIA program that developed all of these journalist assets, and as I recall Cord Meyer was the head of that program, and he was named along with LBJ as one of the two top guys in the JFK assassination by Howard Hunt in his deathbed confession

So, right, anyway, this CIA memo said that all the CIA assets in journalism should start using the term “conspiracy theorist” to bash anybody asking questions about the JFK assassination. At that time, of course, we were told Oswald was the lone assassin, so anybody who said there was another shooter was a conspiracy theorist because there must be a conspiracy … but now they’ve got that term out there to attack anyone who questions authority with

They use it in even absurd cases like 9/11, which of course is a conspiracy, there is obviously more than one person involved, and yet they throw this completely meaningless insult at people to try and shut them up, and it seems to work; a fair number of otherwise intelligent people

MADSEN:  Yeah, and they did that of course, the press; one of the local papers out there, the one in Sonora, the Union Democrat, was really vicious against Marshall. Not only did they call him, y’know, a cold blooded killer who snapped, just in a headline, y’know, that he was a 9/11 conspiracy theorist … This was all in their report. They weren’t the only paper, they were the worst, and why I say they were the worst was Phil Marshall’s first wife, who lives in New Orleans now, contacted that paper with a screed against her husband

She hasn’t seen him since 1998, since they were divorced. She lives in New Orleans, he moved to the West Coast, but they said “well, she said things like she was abusive, he was violent, he used foul language, he had two kids by his second wife, but he wouldn’t have any kids with me.” As if that’s relevant to anything …

BARRETT:  Right…that explains where she’s coming from.

MADSEN:  Right, and I checked this person, and y’know, it’s interesting, she’s been in and out of court and, y’know, her husband…litigation, suing contractors…and the husband, interestingly enough, sued his employer, which it turned out to be the Department of Energy, and this individual who the first wife’s married too is the…is an auditor for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, down in Louisiana, that’s run by the Energy Department, but that we know that reserve is tied in directly to the oil industry, and y’know, when we talk oil, we’re talking Cheney, we’re talking Bush.

BARRETT:  Wow. That’s very interesting. So not only might this person have had a grudge against her former husband, but she might have reason to be willing to go along with suggestions that she slam him in the media.

MADSEN:  Exactly. Exactly.

BARRETT:  Yeah, wow…It’s kind of sad how little integrity there is in some of these places.

MADSEN:  Yeah, yeah. Y’know, again, when it points all back to New Orleans…it’s very interesting. One of things I wanted to mention about Barry Seal:  Barry Seal’s case was handled by this Bush crony, but y’know, he had 1.2 million dollars in assets that there was a big battle over. Y’know, the IRS want it, because they’ve got this law where if you make your money because of drug smuggling they can, y’know, they can take it. They can tax it first of all, then they can seize it

So the judge in that case was a guy named Martin Feldman, he’s actually still on the federal bench, and not only is he on the federal bench, he’s a member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, that top secret court that authorizes, y’know, these NSA/FBI wiretaps and whatnot, for national security counter terrorism purposes. But Feldman was also a key judge in the litigation over BP in the Deep Water Horizon disaster, and it was later found out that he did not recuse himself from these cases even though he was a stockholder in Transocean, the company that owned the platform the Deep Water Horizon, and also he’s a stockholder in BP itself

So we’ve got this dirty judge involved with the post-mortem of Barry Seal’s matters, and the other Bush crony involved with putting Barry Seal in jeopardy because he was such a threat to Vice President Bush.

BARRETT:  Wow. These mobbed up judges are amazing, aren’t they? Y’know, the whole giving Larry Silverstein double indemnity on his World Trade Center losses, even though he confessed to demolishing Building 7. We’ve got Bush’s cousin, Judge Walker, refusing to recuse himself from a case, the April Gallops case, charging Bush with the greatest crime of the century.

MADSEN:  Right. Right. And of course, Karl Rove’s own buddy, Mark Fuller, Little District of Alabama judge who put Karl Rove’s number one political enemy Don Siegelman in prison, so, yeah, it goes on and on, these judges are fiends. And y’know, lifetime appointments…we really need to revisit that. The only thing I’m in favor of giving a judge anything a lifetime is a prison sentence.

MADSEN:  … and some of the neighbors, of course, who are retired have relatives in law enforcement, and one told me … that a relative heads up the homicide department of a medium-sized California city and said “absolutely that did not happen that way”, and said that in his particular jurisdiction, they have a lot of cases where murders are made to look like suicides. So that came from somebody who heads up a homicide division in a fairly medium, y’know, medium to large size city in the San Francisco Bay Area.

BARRETT:  Yeah, these alleged suicides are so convenient because that means you never have to put the guy on trial; y’know, if they have Oswald as the patsy in the JFK killing, then he’s still alive, that’s a problem, so of course he has to be silence, then Jack Ruby has to be given cancer while he’s in jail, but it’s so much more convenient if your 19 alleged 9/11 perps are all supposedly dead in the plane crashes, even though 10 of them show up alive afterwards, well, we can just ignore that, and likewise, here, it’s a lot easier for them to cover these things up if they have a dead patsy, who can’t fight back, can’t hire a lawyer, y’know, they don’t have to prove anything in court….y’know, it sounds like not one shred of evidence has been produced indicating this is what they say it is, but it doesn’t matter, because there’s nobody there to fight it.

MADSEN:  That’s right, and some of Phil Marshall’s friends and neighbors told me that, y’know, although Phil wasn’t paranoid by any stretch, on occasion he did express some fear for his personal safety, but he didn’t dwell on it, he didn’t live like he was paranoid, but certainly on more than one occasion had made that statement to a couple of people, not in a…y’know…sort of like a passing, not even a serious thing, “oh yeah, y’know, I have to watch my back”, y’know, statements like that.

. . . And most people I spoke to felt that whoever did this…y’know, as I mentioned, there’s meth labs in the area, so there’s a criminal element in the county, but these are not professionals by any stretch. These are sort of like moonshiners during prohibition. These aren’t the smartest people around, so whoever carried this out, this was a big-time professional hit. So even if somebody had hired locals to carry this out, it would have been much sloppier than the way it was carried out. This was, y’know, a very quick-entry, one gun-shot each to the three people and the dog, and out they went.

BARRETT:  Well you have a lot of contacts inside the intelligence community, having been a former National Security Agency officer yourself…and you’re maybe the top forum for leaks, right alongside "Veterans Today" which is a whole lot of people, and you’re just one guy, and apparently have a lot of good sources. Do you think there’s any chance you’re going to find inside information about this?

MADSEN:  I wish that were the case, but unfortunately what has happened to the whistleblowers in the government over the last, I’d say, two years with unprecedented use of the Espionage Act to put whistleblowers in prison, the last being John Kiriakou, formerly of the CIA

I and others, and I’ve talked with national security reporters from major, major newspapers, and, y’know, everybody’s saying the same thing; that the sources are drying up, the whistleblowers feel like they can’t be, y’know, can’t be seen at all talking to anybody because of the Obama administration’s use of the Espionage Act — a very arcane 1917 act that was instituted by the guy I call the original Neo-Con, Woodrow Wilson — being used to put people in the government, and in the contracting community, in prison for violation of this law, and in this respect, Obama is ten times worse than George W. Bush, and that’s being kind.

Bush, I don’t believe has used the Espionage Act against a whistleblower per se, but, of course, did use it against somebody in the NSA. Ken Ford, who I’ve written extensively about, who had information that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and after last night’s MSNBC special, we once again have been told that that was a big charade… the WMDs

But as far as going after people that talk to the press, Obama is much worse than Bush, and I never thought I’d say that, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to say that anybody would be worse than Bush, in any respect, but certainly Obama is worse than Bush in this respect.

BARRETT:  And not only is this to ask, why is that? Because, one, live analysis is that the Neo-Cons were the driving force behind 9/11, that they hooked up with Bush and, y’know, the Bush crime mob, and that it was essentially a coup d'etat, and rolled back the Constitution, and created a USA along the model of the Straussian Neo-cons that they’d always wanted, but Obama is supposedly a creature of the realists, people like Brzezinski, who presumably want to roll back the War on Terror, and go a lot easier on turning the United States into a lockdown police state, and yet as you say Obama has been worse on whistleblowers, and worse in many ways on civil liberties than Bush was. What can possibly be the motivation for this?

MADSEN:  Well, meet the new boss, same as the old. Y’know, with Bush we had the CIA because of the father, and Prescott the grandfather, and then in this case, I’ve written….I wrote this book about, y’know, Obama and his family’s ties with the CIA, and I just think it’s still this agency…and people say “oh, the CIA can’t do everything.” Well, there is the CIA headquartered in Langley, Virginia, that, y’know multiple building headquarters, and that’s “the CIA”, y’know, the brick-and-mortar CIA, but when I say CIA, I’m talking about the larger-than-the-CIA, which include all kinds of front companies, people who once worked for them but now work in the shadows, contractors, and foreign associates who may have gone rogue, or may not have gone rogue, may have gone rogue and then get, y’know, activated again by certain elements within our government

So that’s the CIA, and I think is controlled by both the Bush administration and this administration. It’s not that headquarters where you’re going to go in there and find files on all these events and these people. This is a very amorphous organization, but one that continues to exisit and go unpunished for its crimes.

BARRETT:  Well, it’s interesting, because if you’re looking for continuity between this history of big crimes, starting with the JFK assassination and continuing on through 9/11, and all of these many murders, it does seem that the CIA has played a fairly noticeable role in all of this, with, as I said earlier, Cord Meyer, the CIA Operation Mockingbird Chief, being named as a lead as a JFK conspirator by Howard Hunt…and it seems that this kind of dirty side of the larger CIA that you’re talking about has been involved in a whole series of these crimes related to, y’know, overturning democracy, or, y’know, rolling back the Constitution, since 1963

And of course, people point to JFK having threatened to tear the CIA up into little pieces and scatter it to the winds, to basically eliminate the entire covert operations side of CIA and give that over to the military …  all of these things have been cited, so do you think if we were going to do one reform to try to get a handle on all these abuses, do you think maybe abolishing the CIA, or at least its covert operations side, would do it?

MADSEN:  Oh, yeah, and Senator Moynihan from New York wanted to do that, he said turn them back into an intelligence gathering organization, put them back under the State Department from which many of them came, and get rid of all the covert, clandestine services, special ops and all that…of course, he said that after he announced plans to retire from the Senate, and his seat was taken by Hillary Clinton, who certainly hasn’t show any inclination to agree with anything her predecessor Senator Moynihan had to say about that agency.

BARRETT:  Okay, and of course there’s the private agencies as well, that as you say, may be tangentially affiliated with CIA; people like John Perkins the economic hitman, he and his colleagues actually worked for the banksters directly, they were not on the government payroll but they they were doing the same kind of thing. It’s all a big ugly mess, and it’s great that we have people like you, Wayne Madsen, to help clarify what’s really going on. Well, thank you Wayne, it’s been great, I hope to have you back on again. Keep up the good work.

Speaking of how psychology studies affect everyone, have you wondered how Sigmund Freud's nephew ended up pleasuring today's neocon/libs?

Not to mention Hitler's masterminds of message?

Bernays believed that to form an orderly and prosperous society — the “American way of life” that he so valued — the masses would need to be scientifically manipulated by an elite class of citizens — by an “invisible government” who understood these dangerous forces.

According to Bernays, this manipulation would be based upon findings made in such fields as sociology, social psychology, and anthropology, and would be accomplished through covert techniques of opinion-molding, which he called the “engineering of consent.” In this strategy, advertising is employed to show the masses the self-images to which they should aspire and the products they would need to purchase in order to satisfy these self-images. Thus the science of public relations, more properly known as “propaganda,” was born, birthed in large part by Bernays and nourished and developed by corporations to sell their products, and by public relations companies to sell presidential candidates and foreign policy. 5

As Bernays wrote,

[Researchers of mass psychology] established that the group has mental characteristics distinct from those of the individual, and is motivated by impulses and emotions which cannot be explained on the basis of what we know of individual psychology. So the question naturally arose:  If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? . . . . If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway. 6

This strategy of first influencing the
opinion leaders of a society was also discovered by anthropologists as a way to introduce and establish new ideas into a society (see Part 2:  Diffusion of Innovations). Bernays made liberal use of these “third party authorities” to sell his clients’ cases. Among his successful propaganda campaigns:  Trusted physicians pronounced bacon and eggs the best breakfast, dentists promoted fluoridation of water as safe and beneficial, and fetching young models lighting up “torches of freedom” broke the taboo against women smoking. 7

Americans, who at one time saw themselves as citizens with civic duties, were manipulated by Bernays’ propaganda techniques into thinking of themselves as consumers whose self-esteem was validated by the products they bought. Politicians who employed public relations experts skilled at “spin” found that, as candidates in an election, they merely had to make whatever promises would appeal to their constituency — whether they intended to follow through with those promises or not. This is obviously the culture we inherit today.


In addition to working with corporations and high-profile individuals, Bernays worked with the U.S. government and the CIA to implement foreign policy decisions. For example, he joined with other social scientists to influence public opinion toward supporting American participation in World War I. He also worked in concert with the U.S. government and the United Fruit Company to facilitate the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, by branding him a communist — a claim that was dutifully published without critique by major U.S. media. 8

In the 1960s, protestors throughout the U.S. launched a backlash against this manipulation of the public, which they viewed as a way to keep the public sated by purchasing products, while the government did what it wanted — which, at the time, included implementing the destructive foreign policy in Vietnam. 9

Many citizens now understand that the strategy of unlimited growth of mass-produced goods is not sustainable for our planet. They also realize that a so-called democracy run by an elite whose members successfully manipulate the public is no longer a democracy — a fact that did not seem to dawn on the brilliant Edward Bernays.

His business as a public relations counselor in New York City thrived from 1919 until 1963, and he was even named as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine. During his highly successful career, the horrors of World War II, including the concentration camps, strengthened his belief in the innate, monstrous drives just under the surface of the human façade, as well as his belief in the necessity of having an elite class that would control the urges of the masses. Nevertheless, in a classic case of bitter irony — and what should have been a wake-up call to rethink his arrogant certainty about manipulating others — his brilliant insights on engineering public opinion were turned against his Jewish brethren in Nazi Germany. Bernays recounted in his autobiography, Biography of an Idea, a dinner conversation at his home in 1933:

Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Weigand his propaganda library, the best Weigand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Weigand, was using my [Bernay’s] book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. . . . Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign. 10


How far will today’s spinmeisters take us into Bernays’ “engineering of consent” — into a matrix of lies — as they prey on our natural human fears? If the false-flag event of September 11, 2001, is any indication, and if the official propaganda about what happened on that fateful day is any indication, the official propagandists will take us as far as we let them. According to whistleblower Barbara Honegger, former CIA Director William Casey candidly remarked in early February 1981:  “We’ll know our disinformation program is a success when everything the American public believes is false.” 11

CIA mockingbird hour v2


Ultimately, spin, lies, and abuse lead us down a road toward mutual destruction, not to the prosperity and freedom that Edward Bernays envisioned. Ethical psychology professionals, including this writer, strongly believe that our profession should not be used to control, manipulate, exploit, abuse, or torture human beings. Unfortunately, others in my profession disagree, as is evidenced by certain members of the American Psychological Association who aided and abetted torture of detainees after 9/11. 12

Psychologists with scruples maintain that the ultimate goals of our profession are to help people understand themselves, to heal and reclaim the natural goodness with which we were born, and to become free, compassionate, and wise individuals.

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF:  WHY WE LISTEN TO WHAT “THEY” SAY

Douglas Rushkoff, professor of virtual culture at New York University, gives us another example of societal abuse in the marketplace. Rushkoff reveals that influence techniques promoted by Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) and refined by the CIA for its noncoercive interrogations, were adapted and upgraded by a variety of industries for their marketing and sales practices. In his detailed and fascinating exposé, Coercion:  Why We Listen to What “They” Say, Rushkoff demonstrates that whether through interrogation in a windowless room by a CIA agent or through seemingly benign manipulations by a bed salesman, the process is essentially the same.

First, establish good rapport and trust (for example, employ the “good cop vs. bad cop” strategy). Then, using the tricks of the trade, disorient the subject by disrupting his familiar emotional associations. Confusion naturally follows. The CIA manual explains:


When this aim is achieved, resistance is seriously impaired. There is an interval — which may be extremely brief — of suspended animation, a kind of psychological shock or paralysis . . . that explodes the world that is familiar to the subject as well as his image of himself within that world. Experienced interrogators recognize this effect when it appears and know that at this moment the source is far more open to suggestion. 13

At this moment of disorientation, Rushkoff notes, the subject is ripe for manipulation. He enters a regressed state, which immediately leads to transferring authority to the interrogator or to the sales person, who the subject now regards as a parental figure. Compliance with that “parental” authority naturally follows, whether this involves divulging information or buying an unneeded $3,000 bed.

KEVIN BARRETT:  A MOMENT OF DISSOCIATION

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a scholar of Islam and literature, and co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance for 9/11 Truth, postulates that this process applies directly to the attacks of September 11, 2001 — an event he believes was designed to infantilize the public through psychological shock or paralysis. “We experienced a moment of dissociation,” he says, “which is why we can still recall where we were and what we were doing when we learned of the attack  . . . . We desperately needed a parent figure to tell us how to make sense of the madness.” 14


THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE


When we fail to confront oppression and abuse, whether individual or societal, whether overt or subtle, we suppress the unwelcome fact that our trust has been abused and betrayed. We feel miserable because, in essence, we are compromising our true self by denying what we know to be true and what we know to be right. When we do not reclaim our inherent power to stand up to oppression and abuse, we become depressed and ashamed, emotions we seek to escape by watching too much mind-numbing TV, overeating, or misusing substances — these excesses sending us into deeper depression and shame.

After he had studied the evidence that refutes the official account of 9/11, a friend of mine declared, “My solution to this 9/11 issue is to do more drugs.” Sadly, he was not joking.

Those who are inclined to abuse others usually pick on people who appear weak. As the victim succumbs to the abuse, the dynamic escalates, with more abuse hurled at the victim, who then sinks deeper into passivity and shame. Violent abuse normally happens at this point.


After this explosion of violence, the repentant abuser may, in what is termed the “honeymoon phase,” offer apologies and gifts to the victim. The victim then feels hope, erroneously believing that the abuser is actually amending his ways. But tension once again builds, leading to another round of abuse.

EARLY CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AT ROOT OF REACTIONS


Why do some people fall victim to this vicious cycle of violence, while others, at the mere suggestion or faintest whiff of abuse, decisively stand up for themselves and challenge the would-be abuser?

Read the essay here.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

It was actually quite embarrassing to learn that Bin Laden was reading my tome — and a few by my homie Noam Chomsky. It’s embarrassing because it’s clear that Bin Laden was more well-read than our president of the time (though, in George W Bush’s defence, there’s much to be learned from My Pet Goat).
- Greg Palast on hearing that his book was "found" in the Bin Laden stash in 2011.