Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Dick Cheney Was Righter Than He Knew About the Ignorance of the American Voter and Karl Marx Was Absolutely Wrong About Abused (American) Workers Seeking to Revolutionarily Improve Their Lot (Lee Camp & Eleanor Goldfield Truthify) Zuckerberg Started Facebook to Insult Mean (To Him) Women and Men Who Didn't Mind Telling Him Their Intimate Life Details



As my long-time readers are aware, I haven't published an essay for a  very long while. The daily traumas of being incredibly poor and too old to be taken seriously in the job market (so many years of being unemployed through either being told I was overqualified or winked at when my background was discussed as it's been waaay too long a time since my input has been worth more than $7/hour) and freshly impoverished by it daily with the added unending traumas of the Trump Administration against the needy added in as leavening has leavened/leveled my ability to respond rationally viscerally (or vice versa?).

But viscerally is what got me back to the clichéd drawing board today. I had just been casually listening to one of my favorite journalist/commentators, Graham Elwood, as he interviewed Tiffany Fitzhenry on the latest reports about Jeffrey Epstein's decades-long ties through fake modeling agencies and movie star usage of teenage/child hanger abouts fandom and child sex-slave business practices being outed daily, which has been the yeast for current child-trafficking news tips. And then the mention of all those famous names who were in photos with the known human traffickers, etc., that clicked on all circuits.

Out of nowhere (as usual with brain fog) came the realization that everyone in power was aware of this background of human trafficking powering almost all the money-making activities of the major companies in the US as well as undoubtedly throughout the rest of the world.

So, of course, Epstein had been reported to have hung himself in a specially-minted, hangless-enabled jail cell or just carried away in the thick fog of MSM rabid reporting (as usual).





I'm sorry, but once I hear the names Clinton, Clooney, Affleck or any of the top officials at the CIA, DIA, NSA, FBI (or AIPAC?) being involved socially with those involved in human trafficking/kidnapping/rape, my eyes glaze over with reverence and affection, and I'm unable to entertain any critical faculties thereafter.





It's hard to know exactly how to respond to today's events in subtle Presidential Politics, isn't it?

As I said to an attorney friend of mine earlier, "It's really frightening. Kind of the end of the world for anyone believing in Hillary Clinton as a benign political figure." To which, he replied "I've never seen benign and Clinton in the same sentence before!"

I know, I told him. I was going for the laugh.

My guess is that Max Blumenthal (or Aaron Mate) hasn't seen it either.





Dr. Jill Stein has said for a long time that she is not running in 2020 and has been back serving the public in her pediatrics practice in Boston, Massachusetts for some time now.

But don't tell Hillary?




Back to my first apologies . . .

I put the below material together months ago. I think it's still pretty educational and relevant.

If you think what I write about is worth supporting, I have PayPal and GoFundMe links that will help me fix my old car and buy a little bit of food. Otherwise, I'm out of here.

Thanks so much for reading and for your support!

________________

The USA under Herr Trump is now congratulating itself for exactly the wrong things:  actions that are criminal and deplorable (ah! there's that word used correctly!).

Prof Paul Craig Roberts notes that whatever chance Trump had to indemnify his actions with his passionate backers early on are now vamoosed.

There was Trump patting Washington on the back for its good deeds and humanitarian and democratic concerns for other countries, which apparently includes Washington’s destruction in whole or part of eight countries in the last 20 years, leaving ruin in place of once well organized and well functioning countries. What really stood out was Trump’s commiseration with the Iranian and Venezuelan peoples as he piled on more sanctions. Washington’s arrogance is astounding. Here was Trump telling the world that Washington has decided the best governments for Iran and Venezuela and intends to use force to put Washington’s choice of government in office.
Washington has been trying to overthrow Iran ever since the Iranian Revolution in 1978-79 when the Iranian people overthrew the ruling American vassal and established a government responsible to them instead of to Washington.
Washington has been trying to overthrow Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution since 1999 when Chavez took control of Venezuela’s economy away from the foreign interests that had dominated the country. Washington’s response to democracy has been to do everything in its power to wreck the Venezuelan economy and to threaten military invasion in order to recover control over Venezuelan assets.
The lies that Trump told yesterday about Iran and Venezuela are like the lies that Washington told about Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria, lies that were used to justify military actions that have destroyed the lives and prospects of millions of peoples. Trump, like his predecessors, sees these crimes against humanity as good deeds because they advance Washington and Israeli interests.
All of these crimes have their origin in 9/11. The 9/11 truth movement has focused on disproving the official conspiracy theory without identifying the real culprits. Chuck Baldwin brings to our attention Christopher Bollyn’s book which identifies those who are actually responsible for 9/11.
___
He Blew It!
By Chuck Baldwin
September 20, 2018

As the attacks on 9/11 have been brought back to the forefront of my attention via the 17th anniversary of those attacks, it behooves me to not leave the subject without further observations.
By now, any thinking person has had plenty of time to devote at least some study to what happened on September 11, 2001. And it is relatively safe to say that truly objective and reasoned people have concluded (to one degree or another) that what we have been told about the 9/11 attacks was mostly (if not completely) a bunch of hot air. In fact, as time goes by, more people come to doubt — if not totally disbelieve — the official story about 9/11. And that’s putting it mildly. I will even go so far as to say that the only people today who actually believe the official story about 9/11 are the ones who have done absolutely no objective, independent study into the matter.
And if the official narrative of 9/11 is false, logic and reason demand that those who were complicit in the attacks were people who were powerful enough and well positioned enough to be able to pull off the attacks without being discovered, while, at the same time, successfully implicating innocent people as being the perpetrators. Obviously, such a plan involves — at least to a degree — government resources.
At this point, I think it is helpful to remind everyone that while government might be thoroughly inept about many, if not most, of its activities (no organization in the world spends more money and takes the combined efforts of more people to accomplish less good than America’s federal government), the one thing that government is able to do exceptionally well is kill people and destroy property. No organization in the world is more proficient at killing people and destroying things than government. They are the world’s foremost killing machines. R.J. Rummell’s exhaustive research in "Death By Government"  chronicles the fact that over 262 million people were murdered by despotic governments around the world during the 20th century alone. Government has killed more people than all of the gangsters, mass shooters and terrorists of the world combined — by a million-fold.
To think that the attacks of 9/11 would be outside the realm of possibility for government culpability is the height of naiveté. To any rational thinking person, the ONLY entity that could pull off such an operation as brilliantly and seamlessly as the attacks on 9/11 had to be government — or at least elements within government. Furthermore, the possibility that there was a collaboration of more than one government involved in the 9/11 attacks must also be considered highly likely.
For all intents and purposes, there are only three governments in the world today that have the military and intelligence sophistication to pull off an elaborate attack (such as 9/11) inside the Continental United States:  the U.S., of course, Great Britain and Israel. Truly, anyone who thinks that 19 mostly uneducated and benighted Arabs from the Middle East could successfully abscond three Boeing 757 aircraft, circumvent and outsmart the most sophisticated and protected airspace in the world and expertly navigate those jet aircraft into a precision attack against ground targets that even many of the most highly skilled pilots in the world could not perform — all by taking a crash course in flying Cessna propeller airplanes, no less — is, well, gullible beyond all remedy.
The 9/11 attacks were mass-killing crimes. The perpetrators were master criminals. And they are still at large. Which brings me to Donald Trump.
Donald Trump was elected President on the promise that he would drain the swamp and dismantle the Deep State. And many conservatives and Christians thoroughly believe that Trump is actually doing what he promised. But is he? I think not.
Donald Trump had one chance to prove that he was serious about draining the swamp and dismantling the Deep State. One chance. That one chance was his first two years in office. And he blew it.
Trump appointed more Deep State CFR members and Bilderbergers (including Neil Gorsuch, James Mattis, John Bolton, et al.) to his administration than Barack Obama. And don’t be taken in by all of the political bickering surrounding Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The conservatives’ defense of Kavanaugh is as irrelevant as the liberals’ accusations against Kavanaugh. The fact is, Kavanaugh is a Deep State toady who is up to his neck in covering up the government’s murder of former Clinton Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster. Speaking of which, Trump has done nothing to bring the Deep State xxxxx, Hillary Clinton, to justice like he said he would do, either.
In addition (and more relevant to the 9/11 discussion), Trump brought Deep State warlock, Rudy Giuliani, to the White House. As Mayor of New York City, Giuliani, more than any other single individual, provided cover for the real attackers of 9/11 by overseeing the massive effort of destroying the evidence from that horrific crime scene.
Rudy Giuliani is the quintessential Deep State operative. The criminals who masterminded and carried out the 9/11 attacks could not have succeeded without the help of Rudy Giuliani. He was a major player in 9/11. Yet, Trump brings this conscienceless Deep State puppet into the White House and gives him one of the most trusted positions in his government.
Had Trump been serious about draining the swamp and dismantling the Deep State, he would have begun immediately after being inaugurated exposing the major Deep State players from both parties (including the Clintons, Bushes, Dick Cheney, Giuliani, Michael Chertoff, etc.) and from the alphabet agencies that have millions of skeletons (literally) in their bloody closets. But instead of exposing them, Trump continued to cover for them or even HIRE them.
But instead of hiring Deep State toadies like Giuliani, Trump should have created an independent commission to thoroughly investigate 9/11. If he had been serious about dismantling the Deep State, that is exactly what he would have done. But he didn’t; and he won’t. He won’t because Trump is determined to keep the crimes of the Deep State covered up.
Beyond that, the epicenter of the global Deep State is Benjamin Netanyahu’s Zionist State of Israel. And what does Trump do here? He panders to Israel; increases financial and military support for Israel; denies humanitarian funding for Israeli-persecuted Palestinians; refuses to recognize Israel’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank; joins Israel in attacking Syria; amasses U.S. armed forces to assist Israel’s myriad wars in the Middle East, etc., ad infinitum. Had Trump been serious about dismantling the Deep State, he would have exposed Israel’s bloodlust in the Middle East, it’s control over the U.S. Congress and the major news media and its manifold treacheries against the United States. And that includes exposing Israel’s cold-blooded attack on the USS Liberty 50 years ago and Israel’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks.
Had Trump been serious about draining the swamp and dismantling the Deep State, he would have also begun dismantling America’s burgeoning Police State. And, furthermore, he would have kept his promise to get our troops out of the Deep State’s perpetual “War on Terror” in the Middle East.
Trump did none of the above. Instead, he expanded and escalated all of the above.
From this point on, it doesn’t matter to a tinker’s dam what Trump does or doesn’t do, as he has proven that he either didn’t mean a word he said while campaigning or didn’t have the man stuff to actually follow through with what he promised. From now on, Trump will be simply dancing the famous Potomac Two-Step all over Washington, D.C. — when he’s not playing golf, that is. Yes, did you know that Trump has spent 25% of his time in office so far on the various golf courses he owns? That’s a FACT. Yeah! Chasing birdies is a great way to fight the Deep State.
Folks, let this sink in:  the Deep State has nothing to do with partisan politics. It has nothing to do with the entire left-right political wrangling, name calling, posturing, etc., that consumes the mainstream media. All of that is nothing but public theater to distract the American people from what is really going on — or NOT going on.
Donald Trump had one chance to prove he was serious about draining the swamp and dismantling the Deep State:  his first two years in office. And the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks serves as just another reminder that HE BLEW IT!
P.S. I, again, urge readers to buy Christopher Bollyn’s masterful exposé on who and what was behind the 9/11 attacks and America’s ongoing “War on Terror.” The book is entitled "The War On Terror:   The Plot To Rule The Middle East."
We have been bamboozled, folks. Everything we’ve been told about 9/11 and the “War on Terror” is a big fat LIE.  And no one has done more investigative research exposing these lies than Christopher Bollyn.
If enough of the American people could come to grips with the truth about 9/11 and the “War on Terror,” it would change the course of history, save thousands and even millions of lives and, yes, save our republic.   As it is, the deception of 9/11 and the “War on Terror” envelops both political parties in Washington, D.C., including Donald Trump—and even America’s pastors and churches.
Bollyn’s book shatters the myths and destroys the lies. It names names, tracks time and identifies the criminal cabal that masterminded the 9/11 attacks that took America into an everlasting, never-ending, perpetual “War on Terror” that has killed millions and will kill millions more unless the American people wake up and put a stop to this global catastrophe.

Karl Marx was certainly wrong in the philosophy department about the US public. Although the gig economy is a real outstanding Marxist triumph.

He was sure that most of the oppressed workers under the capitalistic system would revolt and demand that their mistreatment from jobs that didn't pay living wages to jobs that were moved overnight with their workers left to shift for themselves in dozens of horror-filled ways would be addressed through revolutionary movements.

Dick Cheney was right, however.

Americans have been proved by events over the years since September 11, 2001, to be more than willing to accept just about any delineation of their freedom and self respect in the chasing of fear and security, and making war on any countries they can be led to believe posed a danger to the most dangerous country in the world.

LeeCamp explains in the first video what the reason for all the mayhem and the obtusity about who are foreign agents and why as well as every other government secret.


In this video LeeCamp delves into the reasons why major networks lie about the reality of war and elections and the wonderful life in the USA USA USA!!!



Lee teams up with Eleanor Goldfield of @ActivistEleanor to expose the uses and dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the movement to criminalize thinking about dissent from the government's policies.

Click on the photo to decrease size.

Do you think the government may be in the wrong hands?

Unfortunately, for the last 40 years it has passed between the two major parties but stayed in the exact same corporatist hands.

Professor Paul Craig Roberts continues to enlighten us about the current and future plans of those with whom he used to make BIG economic plans (when he worked for the Reagan Administration, where he now says he was misled about exactly what the NeoCons and NeoLibs had in mind):

One of the few remaining intelligent and courageous voices in America tells us that the lights are about to go out.
Welcome to the Dick Cheney Administration
 March 26, 2018
By Stephen M. Walt

The problem with John Bolton isn’t that he’s an extremist. It’s that he’s mainstream.

“Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not trying to “normalize” this appointment or suggest that it shouldn’t concern you. Rather, I’m suggesting that if you are worried about Bolton, you should ask yourself the following question:  What sort of political system allows someone with his views to serve in high office, where he helps talk the country into a disastrous war, never expresses a moment’s regret for his errors, continues to advocate for more of the same for the next decade, and then gets a second chance to make the same mistakes again?

“So by all means worry. But the real problem isn’t Bolton — it’s a system that permits people like him to screw up and move up again and again.”
The other shoe dropped. On the heels of his cowardly fire-by-tweet dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump has dismissed National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and replaced him with John Bolton, the hard-line former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Uber-hawk Mike Pompeo is headed from the CIA to the State Department, and Gina Haspel, a CIA loyalist who ran a torture site for George W. Bush and authorized the destruction of videotapes documenting what the CIA was doing, has been picked to replace him. Just how scared should you be?
There seem to be two general reactions to the latest upheaval in Trump’s topsy-turvy. One interpretation is that this latest reshuffle amounts to Trump getting rid of the “grown-ups” who have been trying to manage the tweeter-in-chief for the past year and replacing them with advisors who see the world as he does and will let “Trump be Trump.” In this view, the new team will enable him instead of trying to rein him in, and he’ll become the Trump of 2016, who called U.S. foreign policy a “complete and total disaster” and promised “America First.” Trump himself has encouraged this view by suggesting that he is finally assembling the sort of team he has always wanted. (Which raises an obvious question: Who was the idiot who picked his first team? Or his second? Oh, right.)
The second interpretation is more alarmist and basically tells you to start digging that backyard bomb shelter. In this view, the departures of Tillerson and McMaster and the arrivals of Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel herald the ascendance of a hawkish contingent that will tear up the Iran deal, reinstate the torture regime, and eventually start a war with North Korea that goes way beyond a simple “bloody nose.” And with Bolton in the White House, Trump is going to be advised by a guy who never saw a war he didn’t like (when observed from a safe distance, of course).
Let me be clear:  Bolton’s appointment is on par with most of Trump’s personnel choices, which is to say that it’s likely to be a disaster. His views on foreign policy are crude and bellicose, and his track record as a policy advocate and pundit do not, to put it politely, inspire confidence. Nor does he seem to have learned a thing from his past mistakes. And where McMaster and Tillerson did what they could to limit the damage that Trump has done to America’s international reputation and critical alliance partnerships, Bolton’s particular skill as a diplomat seems to have been finding creative new ways to offend America’s friends.
But Bolton’s arrival is hardly a return to the Trump that we saw in the 2016 campaign. Trump ran for president by attacking the entire foreign-policy establishment, suggesting that it was out of touch, unaccountable, and prone to get the United States into pointless wars. Since becoming president, however, Trump has increased defense spending, escalated in Afghanistan, given the Pentagon and certain headstrong U.S. allies the green light to use more force in more places (with disappointing results), and generally doubled down on the same overly militarized approach to foreign policy that had repeatedly failed under Bill Clinton, Bush, and, yes, even Barack Obama. Bolton’s appointment (along with Trump’s other personnel shifts) is not a bold move toward “America First” — if that term means a smarter and more restrained foreign policy that would reduce U.S. overseas burdens, improve the country’s strategic position, and actually make Americans safer and richer.
Instead, whether Trump knows it or not, putting Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel in key positions looks more like a return to “Cheneyism,” by which I mean a foreign policy that inflates threats, dismisses serious diplomacy, thinks allies are mostly a burden, is contemptuous of institutions, believes that the United States is so powerful that it can just issue ultimatums and expect others to cave, and believes that a lot of thorny foreign-policy problems can be solved by just blowing something up.
Boy, that formula really worked well the last time the United States tried it, didn’t it? No wonder a sophisticated foreign-policy expert like Trump wants to try it again.
Thus, the real lesson of the Bolton appointment has less to do with Bolton himself and more about what it says about the U.S. foreign-policy establishment. You’re undoubtedly going to read a lot of heartfelt, knickers-in-a-twist commentaries in the next few weeks about the dangers of appointing a wild-eyed radical to such a sensitive position, but the plain fact is that Bolton is not really an outlier within the U.S. foreign-policy community. It’s not like Trump just appointed Medea Benjamin (from the left) or Rand Paul (from the right) or even an experienced and knowledgeable contrarian such as Charles W. Freeman Jr. or Andrew Bacevich. Instead, he appointed someone with decidedly hawkish views but who is still within the “acceptable” consensus in Washington.
Look at Bolton’s pedigree and career. He’s a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School. He worked at Covington & Burling, a venerable D.C. law firm where former Secretary of State Dean Acheson also worked. He has been a senior fellow for years at the conservative but mainstream American Enterprise Institute. He writes frequently for obscure, wild-and-crazy, “radical” publications including, er … the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and even Foreign Policy. Is this your idea of a “fringe” figure?
True, Bolton was a vocal supporter of the Iraq War, but that hardly makes him a weirdo. As I’m sure he’d be the first to point out, a lot of other people drank that particular Kool-Aid, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, James Steinberg, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Susan Rice, Robert Gates, and a long, long list of other “respectable” figures. And don’t forget that the other geniuses who dreamed up and sold that disaster — people such as William Kristol, James Woolsey, Robert Kagan, Bret Stephens, Max Boot, Eliot Cohen, David Frum, Paul Wolfowitz, etc. — are still respected figures in the foreign-policy establishment despite having never admitted they were wrong or expressed any public regret for launching a disastrous war in which hundreds of thousands of people died.
Like Trump, Bolton seems particularly worried about Iran and North Korea, but so are most members of Congress and much of the think tank world in D.C., too. Indeed, there are plenty of people who strongly support the current nuclear deal but who also believe the United States should get tougher with Tehran. Nor is Bolton the only person in Washington who has proposed taking military action against North Korea. After all, it was Bolton’s predecessor, the now-departing McMaster, who kept making the case for the “bloody nose” approach.
Bolton is also something of an Islamophobe and is deeply suspicious of international institutions, but that hardly makes him unique in U.S. foreign-policy circles either. He seems especially fond of using military force, but how many prominent foreign-policy intellectuals are openly opposed to it and willing to stand up and say so? I’d say damn few, because nobody angling for a top job in Washington wants to be seen as “soft.” Remember how Democrats and Republicans alike applauded Trump when he authorized some strategically meaningless cruise missile strikes on Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria? That simple fact goes a long way toward explaining how the United States came to be waging wars of various sorts in a dozen or more countries, with no end in sight and with hardly anyone saying boo about it. Bolton is just a more outspoken member of the consensus here, too.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to “normalize” this appointment or suggest that it shouldn’t concern you. Rather, I’m suggesting that if you are worried about Bolton, you should ask yourself the following question: What sort of political system allows someone with his views to serve in high office, where he helps talk the country into a disastrous war, never expresses a moment’s regret for his errors, continues to advocate for more of the same for the next decade, and then gets a second chance to make the same mistakes again?
So by all means worry. But the real problem isn’t Bolton — it’s a system that permits people like him to screw up and move up again and again.
(Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.)
__________

When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2003, he intended for it to be an online destination where people could connect with friends that would, in its own small way, make the world a better place. Just kidding, of course — as my colleague, Nick Bilton, reminds us, back in Zuck’s Harvard days, The Facebook, as it was then known, was little more than a bizarre social experiment in which Zuckerberg got to see how many people would blindly turn over their information to him. “I have over 4,000 e-mails, pictures, addresses, SNS,” Zuckerberg bragged to a friend. “People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They ‘trust me.’ Dumb fucks.” And 15 years later, not much has changed! One of the reasons Facebook is in such a steaming pile of shit at the moment is because the way in which Cambridge Analytica got its hands on millions of people’s information that they then used to nefarious ends was completely legitimate. There was no data breach:  Facebook set things up so firms like Cambridge could simply help themselves (the company claims it has since fixed things).

Because human emotion is not exactly Zuck’s thing, for a while, he didn’t seem to understand why this was so upsetting to people, and apparently thought it best to keep mum until things had blown over. But on Wednesday, after, we assume, someone with a better understanding of how human beings operate told him he really should say something, ole Zuckerbot released “an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation” on his Facebook page. Writing that he has been “working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Zuckerberg offered a timeline of the events that led to the absolute pillaging of millions of people’s data. With a vigorous wave of his finger, Zuckerberg noted that while “the way our platform worked at the time” gave Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan “access [to] tens of millions of . . . [users’] data,” Kogan totally was not supposed to share that information without people’s consent! In 2015, Kogan’s app was “immediately banned” from the platform and Facebook “demanded” that he and Cambridge Analytica delete “all improperly acquired data.” The year prior, Zuckerberg wrote, Facebook decided to “dramatically limit the data apps could access,” and made it impossible for apps like Kogan’s to request data about a person’s friends unless said friends had also authorized the app, which was how the researcher had been able to gather data from tens of millions of people when only a few hundred thousand had taken his personality quiz.

. . . Though you and I know Zuckerberg is full of shit, today’s mea culpa will probably be enough for the majority of its users, who may actually buy the claim that Facebook never meant for any of this to happen, and that all these issues are in the past. One group for whom it’ll definitely be enough? Wall Street, which wasn’t actually that sussed about it in the first place. Sure, billions of dollars have been wiped out over the past few days, but as of Tuesday morning — before Zuckerberg released his letter — 39 of the 44 analysts who track its stock had a buy rating or equivalent on Facebook shares, with the average target price 34.6 percent higher than Monday’s closing price, at $223.07.

While Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser wrote in a note to clients on Monday that the scandal was “another indication of systemic problems at Facebook,” suggesting “enhanced risks for the company,” he saw “no near-term tangible impact on its business.”
At Credit Suisse, analysts Stephen Ju and Philip Wang told clients Tuesday that the revelations were “backwards-looking,” that the bad news had already been baked in, and that the fact that senior Facebook execs have been summoned to explain themselves to U.K. lawmakers was not enough to impact the company’s bottom line (they maintained their buy rating and a $240 price target). Goldman Sachs’s Heath Terry said he doesn’t expect people, for whom Facebook “is a utility,” to leave the platform en masse, with “the utility far outweigh[ing]” the privacy issues. In a note to clients, Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler noted that his team does “not believe past regulatory concerns have impacted Facebook user engagement or advertising,” and maintained his $230 price target and buy rating.
In other words, everyone already knew that Facebook was ethically challenged, so short of people abandoning the platform in droves and/or advertisers pulling their money, the Cambridge news doesn’t change much. In Wall Street’s eyes, Zuckerberg would have to live-stream a dungeon where he harvests users’ organs for fun and profit for things to really take a turn for the worse. And even then, who knows.
___________

Jane Goodall, featured in Time's "Being a Woman Was Crucial to My Success in a Male-Dominated Field," was a revelation to me when I met her years ago when she was the Commencement speaker at a university I had been teaching at the semester previous. Looking into her beautiful clear blue eyes at length as we conversed, I came away thinking that she personified how to stay 10 years old in wonder while aging into your 70's, and becoming a world-famous wonder.

hen I was a little girl, I used to dream as a man, because I wanted to do things that women didn’t do back then such as traveling to Africa, living with wild animals and writing books. I didn’t have any female explorers or scientists to look up to but I was inspired by Dr. Dolittle, Tarzan and Mowgli in The Jungle Book — all male characters. It was only my mother who supported my dream: “You’ll have to work hard, take advantage of opportunities and never give up,” she’d tell me.
. . . After this Louis arranged for me to go to Cambridge University where I became the eighth person in their history to be admitted to work for a PhD without a BA. But to my dismay, I was quickly told that I had done my study all wrong. I should have numbered the chimps rather than given them names, and I could not talk about their personalities, minds or emotions as those features were unique to humans. I was told there is a difference between humans and all other animals. That way of thinking, of course, makes it easier to treat animals as things rather than sentient and sapient beings able to experience joy, fear, despair and pain. Easier to work in a factory farm or medical research laboratory and for us to enjoy the sport of trophy hunting.
But I understood the true nature of animals from my childhood teacher — my dog, Rusty. So I knew that in this respect the Cambridge professors were wrong — as does everyone who has shared their life in a meaningful way with a dog or a horse or a hamster or a bird. I stuck to my convictions and because the chimpanzees are so like us biologically as well as behaviorally, gradually scientists have become less reductionist. Indeed, animal personalities and emotions are now subjects for serious study, and there is a huge amount of research being conducted on the intelligence of animals ranging from chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins, to birds, octopuses and even some insects.
. . . Because I succeeded in a scientific world largely dominated by men, I’ve been described as a feminist role model, but I never think of myself in that way. Although the feminist movement today is different, many women who have succeeded have done so by emphasizing their masculine characteristics. But we need feminine qualities to be both accepted and respected and in many countries this is beginning to happen. I love that the new movement involves women joining their voices together on social media, thus giving a sense of solidarity.
_______________

Friday, January 4, 2019

(Deception City (er, Country)) New York Times Smears Bernie Sanders With WMD Pose (NO PAYGO!!!) Do We Have to Wait for a Quadrillion n Hidden Taxpayer Funds to Be Reported Missing? (Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War) Rigged American Elections? (Out-Russianing the Russians!) MORE!



The "New York Times," having run out of countries to find WMD in, has now determined that Bernie Sanders is the most likely target this election?

Sad.





NO NO NO

PAYGO!!!!!!!!!



In a wealthy first-world nation, no one thinks hard about some of the employees making off with a few bucks now and then.

Today's situation, trillions missing, unaccounted for, and unlooked for, is straining the credulity needed to continue this much-loved (by the owners) tradition.

Trillions are an accounting mistake? Maybe if they say it loudly enough and long enough and click their sparkly red heels three times?

If we were present at the hearing, we would have asked Mr. Norquist follow-up questions.  The report highlighting unsupported adjustments of $6.5 trillion does indeed indicate that $164 billion in undocumentable adjustments were needed to address issues related to “property” (see page 27 of the report).  Clearly, $164 billion in adjustments is substantial. Yet there is no indication as to why properties, equipment, etc. required such enormous changes in valuation.  Moreover, the $164 billion accounts for less than 2 percent of the $6.5 trillion. Why were an additional $6.3 trillion in unsupported adjustments needed?  To our knowledge, there are no public reports with detailed explanations or additional data. Furthermore, the DOD's OIG's failure to respond to reasonable inquiries and Mr. Norquist's clearly inadequate explanation suggests our government accountants can't figure out what's going on when it comes to trillions in "unsupported" outlays/transactions.
Let's recall that this is not simply a matter of boring accounting. Trillions in unaccounted outlays, if that's what's involved here, is trillions of our tax dollars being spent without our knowledge. If that's the case, we're talking about the biggest government financial deception in the history of the country.

And speaking of national deceptions, financial and otherwise:

I thought that the mission was to break through the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness. It was also an interesting moment at NBC because everyone was looking over their shoulder at Vice and other upstarts creeping up on the mainstream. But then Trump got elected and Investigations got sucked into the tweeting vortex, increasingly lost in a directionless adrenaline rush, the national security and political version of leading the broadcast with every snow storm. And I would assert that in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself — busy and profitable. No wars won but the ball is kept in play.
I’d argue that under Trump, the national security establishment not only hasn’t missed a beat but indeed has gained dangerous strength. Now it is ever more autonomous and practically impervious to criticism. I’d also argue, ever so gingerly, that NBC has become somewhat lost in its own verve, proxies of boring moderation and conventional wisdom, defender of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering, in love with procedure and protocol over all else (including results). I accept that there’s a lot to report here, but I’m more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America’s wars.”
Arkin is no fan of Trump, calling him “an ignorant and incompetent impostor,” but describes his shock at NBC’s reflexive opposition to the president’s “bumbling intuitions” to get along with Russia, to denuclearize North Korea, to get out of the Middle East, and his questioning of the US military’s involvement in Africa.
“I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI:  What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?”
“There’s a saying about consultants, that organizations hire them to hear exactly what they want to hear,” Arkin writes in the conclusion of his statement. “ I’m proud to say that NBC didn’t do that when it came to me. Similarly I can say that I’m proud that I’m not guilty of giving my employers what they wanted. Still, the things this and most organizations fear most — variability, disturbance, difference — those things that are also the primary drivers of creativity — are not really the things that I see valued in the reporting ranks.”
That’s about as charitably as it could possibly be said by a skeptical tongue. Another way to say it would be that plutocrat-controlled and government-enmeshed media networks hire reporters to protect the warmongering oligarchic status quo upon which media-controlling plutocrats have built their respective kingdoms, and foster an environment which elevates those who promote establishment-friendly narratives while marginalizing and pressuring anyone who doesn’t. It’s absolutely bizarre that it should be unusual for there to be a civilian analyst of the US war machine’s behaviors in the mainstream media who is skeptical of its failed policies and nonstop bloodshed, and it’s a crime that such voices are barely holding on to the fringes of the media stage. Such analysts should be extremely normal and commonplace, not rare and made to feel as though they don’t belong.

It's always seemed strange to me that the politicians with the biggest names now are allowed to get away with the biggest crimes. Seems like it would be the little guys. You know, like during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton years. Or did the Obama years confuse me so perilously that the Trump years seem about right again?


 



And the Brits are out-Russianing the Russians! Seems the Deep State has been running the Clinton Campaign?






Stay tuned. There is so much more.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Lee Camp's New Comedy Show Will Remind You of the Classics for a Good Reason (Think Sahl, Bruce, Carlin & Pryor)



(Update! Apologies for the previous link gremlins!!!)


That's just horribly wrong.

For the business boys.

As for the children and the poor . . . .

The horror! Steve, Gary: Couldn’t you just put a new tax on food stamps or check-cashing? You’re killin’ us. This could not possibly get worse, except if you hadn’t just engaged in the biggest transfer of wealth in the wrong direction in human history. Whaaaa, it can?

Under the new tax law, companies can deduct interest costs up to 30 percent of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, until 2022. After that, the cap narrows to 30 percent of earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT — since that number includes depreciation and amortization, it’s lower, making the potential deduction amount even smaller. 
Hedge Fund Pain Compounded as Surprise Tax Hit Awaits Investors [Bloomberg]

Lee Camp is fresh. Almost freakishly so. For the times anyway.

And I don't mean just early in the morning.

He's a professional comedian who is so startlingly, outrageously funny right out of the park and so tellingly on point that you are almost taken aback when you realize that you've paid your money for really fine entertainment, received it, and are thinking there is no way you've paid enough.

Of course, you really didn't pay anything if you've caught his act on YouTube or other internet sites that feature his droll, lucid, acid-laced political commentary interspersed with gut-busting humor that causes hooting to burst forth at the political analysis pretensions of your friends as well as your own as you slide into a mind-opening, disturbingly unbalanced inner space that makes you question every precept you've held since Miss Smith told your Fifth Grade class that the Bible was a book of fiction written by unknown men who wanted to wrest monetary and political power from the unknown men who had held it before them until the next motivated group showed up with enough power to take it from them.

But enough about pretensions and pretenders. Lee Camp owns the real thing. In addition to his weekly TV show, "Redacted Tonight," he also has a stunningly funny brand new comedy show now available at a rock-bottom price online (although you could show your appreciation by throwing him another buck or two just for equity's sake).

You need a sample?

Okay. I warned you. I hope you're sitting down.

Twenty-one trillion dollars.
The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.
But I’ll get back to that in a moment.
There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).
But when we get into the millions, we lose it. It becomes a fog of nonsense. Visualizing it feels like trying to hug a memory. We may know what $1 million can buy (and we may want that thing), but you probably don’t know how tall a stack of a million $1 bills is. You probably don’t know how long it takes a minimum-wage employee to make $1 million.
That’s why trying to understand—truly understand—that the Pentagon spent 21 trillion unaccounted-for dollars between 1998 and 2015 washes over us like your mother telling you that your third cousin you met twice is getting divorced. It seems vaguely upsetting, but you forget about it 15 seconds later because … what else is there to do?
Twenty-one trillion.
But let’s get back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, Mark Skidmore, an economics professor, heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted-for spending in 2015. Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought something like, “She means $6.5 billion. Not trillion. Because trillion would mean the Pentagon couldn’t account for more money than the gross domestic product of the whole United Kingdom. But still, $6.5 billion of unaccounted-for money is a crazy amount.”
So he went and looked at the inspector general’s report, and he found something interesting: It was trillion! It was fucking $6.5 trillion in 2015 of unaccounted-for spending! And I’m sorry for the cursing, but the word “trillion” is legally obligated to be prefaced with “fucking.” It is indeed way more than the U.K.’s GDP.
Skidmore did a little more digging. As Forbes reported in December 2017, “[He] and Catherine Austin Fitts … conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.”
Let’s stop and take a second to conceive how much $21 trillion is (which you can’t because our brains short-circuit, but we’ll try anyway).
1. The amount of money supposedly in the stock market is $30 trillion.
2. The GDP of the United States is $18.6 trillion.
3. Picture a stack of money. Now imagine that that stack of dollars is all $1,000 bills. Each bill says “$1,000” on it. How high do you imagine that stack of dollars would be if it were $1 trillion. It would be 63 miles high.
4. Imagine you make $40,000 a year. How long would it take you to make $1 trillion? Well, don’t sign up for this task, because it would take you 25 million years (which sounds like a long time, but I hear that the last 10 million really fly by because you already know your way around the office, where the coffee machine is, etc.).
The human brain is not meant to think about a trillion dollars.
And it’s definitely not meant to think about the $21 trillion our Department of Defense can’t account for. These numbers sound bananas. They sound like something Alex Jones found tattooed on his backside by extraterrestrials.
But the 21 trillion number comes from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General—the OIG. Although, as Forbes pointed out, “after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, the OIG’s webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported “accounting adjustments,” was mysteriously taken down.”
Luckily, people had already grabbed copies of the report, which—for now—you can view here.
Here’s something else important from that Forbes article—which is one of the only mainstream media articles you can find on the largest theft in American history:

Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress.
That’s right. The expenses with no explanation were 54 times the actual budget allotted by Congress. Well, it’s good to see Congress is doing 1/54th of its job of overseeing military spending (that’s actually more than I thought Congress was doing). This would seem to mean that 98 percent of every dollar spent by the Army in 2015 was unconstitutional.
So, pray tell, what did the OIG say caused all this unaccounted-for spending that makes Jeff Bezos’ net worth look like that of a guy jingling a tin can on the street corner?
“[The July 2016 inspector general] report indicates that unsupported adjustments are the result of the Defense Department’s ‘failure to correct system deficiencies.’
They blame trillions of dollars of mysterious spending on a “failure to correct system deficiencies”? That’s like me saying I had sex with 100,000 wild hairless aardvarks because I wasn’t looking where I was walking.
Twenty-one trillion.
Say it slowly to yourself.
At the end of the day, there are no justifiable explanations for this amount of unaccounted-for, unconstitutional spending. Right now, the Pentagon is being audited for the first time ever, and it’s taking 2,400 auditors to do it. I’m not holding my breath that they’ll actually be allowed to get to the bottom of this.
But if the American people truly understood this number, it would change both the country and the world. It means that the dollar is sprinting down a path toward worthless. If the Pentagon is hiding spending that dwarfs the amount of tax dollars coming in to the federal government, then it’s clear the government is printing however much it wants and thinking there are no consequences. Once these trillions are considered, our fiat currency has even less meaning than it already does, and it’s only a matter of time before inflation runs wild.
It also means that any time our government says it “doesn’t have money” for a project, it’s laughable. It can clearly “create” as much as it wants for bombing and death. This would explain how Donald Trump’s military can drop well over 100 bombs a day that cost well north of $1 million each.
So why can’t our government also “create” endless money for health care, education, the homeless, veterans benefits and the elderly, to make all parking free and to pay the Rolling Stones to play stoop-front shows in my neighborhood? (I’m sure the Rolling Stones are expensive, but surely a trillion dollars could cover a couple of songs.)
Obviously, our government could do those things, but it chooses not to. Earlier this month, Louisiana sent eviction notices to 30,000 elderly people on Medicaid to kick them out of their nursing homes. Yes, a country that can vomit trillions of dollars down a black hole marked “Military” can’t find the money to take care of our poor elderly. It’s a repulsive joke.
Twenty-one trillion.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke about how no one knows where the money is flying in the Pentagon. In a barely reported speech in 2011, he said, “My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as, ‘How much money did you spend?’ and ‘How many people do you have?’
They can’t even find out how many people work for a specific department?
Note for anyone looking for a job:  Just show up at the Pentagon and tell them you work there. It doesn’t seem like they’d have much luck proving you don’t.
For more on this story, check out David DeGraw’s excellent reporting at ChangeMaker.media, because the mainstream corporate media are mouthpieces for the weapons industry. They are friends with benefits of the military-industrial complex. I have seen basically nothing from the mainstream corporate media concerning this mysterious $21 trillion. 
I missed the time when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said that the money we dump into war and death—either the accounted-for money or the secretive trillions—could end world hunger and poverty many times over. There’s no reason anybody needs to be starving or hungry or unsheltered on this planet, but our government seems hellbent on proving that it stands for nothing but profiting off death and misery. And our media desperately want to show they stand for nothing but propping up our morally bankrupt empire.
When the media aren’t actively promoting war, they’re filling the airwaves with shit, so the entire country can’t even hear itself think. Our whole mindscape is filled to the brim with nonsense and vacant celebrity idiocy. Then, while no one is looking, the largest theft humankind has ever seen is going on behind our backs—covered up under the guise of “national security.”
Twenty-one trillion.
Don’t forget.
(If you think this column is important, please share it. And check out Lee Camp’s weekly TV show, “Redacted Tonight.” Camp also is touring cities throughout the U.S. with his live comedy show. Check out his schedule here.)

Told you he was special.

More?

Okay. I'm weak too.


Max and Stacy are still rocking and rolling about the ongoing economic screwups too:



And I aDore Jimmy who asks what the F****** F*** are we doing in Syria anyway?


And Lee Camp (again!) with Professor Richard Wolff:



And, of course, as expected the "New York Times" is already smearing Bernie Sanders for 2020! Jimmy?



On a personal note at this special holiday season, I just learned that my favorite soap - Crabtree & Evelyn's Goatmilk Triple-Milled Soap - is on sale for $5.00 (hint! hint!) for any interested shoppers. You'll love it.

And my GoFundMe charity account needed to repair my old car is still underpatronized.

Happy Holidays!

(And No More War!!!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

RULED BY MONSTERS? Stop Reading Now If You Don't Want to Believe It



If you've been lucky enough to not be paying attention to your coming demise, economic and physical, don't stop now.

Because if you watch the following short video, you will catch up.



And they are not kidding.

In fact, if you watch the "News" coverage put out by any of the major networks, you will have absolutely no idea what is, and has been for years, happening to your pocketbook (and natural environment).

But those "News" media commentators are paid millions to ensure that you don't know anything about it.

And talking about those being paid millions to talk about things that are not true and never were.

OUR HERO!


And, yes, Obama certainly knows of which he speaks. He also knows all about the Deep State and why Russia must be constantly sold to the largely uninformed public as a country that is and always will be OUR ETERNAL ENEMY! (Never mind how much land and mythology it lost when it was moved rudely by U.S. NeoCon-Libs in the 90's from the reality of the past might of the Soviet Union to a much smaller torn-asunder, nucleated country named Russia.)

As recounted by the commentator Garret Epps in The Atlantic in March 2018, “In 1973, the great Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn coined the term ‘Gulag Archipelago’ to denote the Soviet system of political prisons and labor camps. In the last 25 years, the United States has, without fanfare, brought into being a kind of Enforcement and Removal Operations’ Archipelago — secretive, loosely supervised, and, in human and constitutional rights terms, deeply problematic. And the ‘system’ will, if the current administration carries forward its enforcement plans, grow significantly larger year by year.” The US gulag archipelago is firmly in place.
But in the minds of so many of the Western world, that have been ever-so-gently brainwashed over the years of the New Cold War, ‘gulags’ are forever Russian, and they are ready for pitch invaders.
Cold War Two is thriving, having been initiated and fostered by West and especially by the Pentagon and much of Congress, whose members benefit enormously from cash donations by weapons’ manufacturers whose generosity so far this election cycle has totaled $19,332,442 in traceable hand-outs.  The Pentagon is reported as having calculated that “overseas weapons sales by US firms rose $8.3 billion from 2016 to 2017, with American arms makers moving a total of $41.9 billion in advanced weaponry to foreign militaries last year.”  There is profit in supporting confrontation.
Development of the new Cold War was described succinctly in February 2018 by Stephen F Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, in that “[President] Clinton pursued winner-take-all policies consistent with viewing Russia as a defeated power, presiding over a massive intrusive crusade to shape that former rival into ‘the Russia we want’;  beginning the expansion of NATO, now on Russia’s borders; and bombing Moscow’s traditional Slav ally Serbia in 1999, despite Yeltsin’s protests. Indeed, the extreme vilification of Putin by former members of the Clinton administration, including Hillary Clinton, who equated him with Hitler, are not unrelated to their unwise Russia policies of the 1990s — loudly applauded, it should be added, by media journalists now also in the forefront of demonizing the current Kremlin leader.”
The Western media and what is now called the ‘deep state’ — the power clique, somewhat akin or even complementary to the military-industrial complex spotlighted by President Eisenhower almost sixty years ago — are intent on portraying Russia as a warmongering expansionist state, but they never mention the fact that, as recorded in the 2018 World Report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute “In 2017 the USA spent more on its military [$610 billion] than the next seven highest-spending countries combined. . . . at $66.3 billion, Russia’s military spending in 2017 was 20 per cent lower than in 2016.”
The New York Times summed up the Washington Establishment’s attitude to the Putin-Trump July 16 talks with the headline “Trump Opens His Arms to Russia. His Administration Closes Its Fist.” Entirely coincidentally, three days before the meeting, Washington’s best and brightest announced that twelve Russians had been indicted for allegedly interfering with the US elections in 2016. The word “allegedly” was rarely used by the West’s mainstream media, and the fact that no evidence of any sort has been presented to backup up the allegations has been completely ignored. The automatic verdict is that Russia is guilty of whatever charges might be levelled, just as in Britain the blame for an incident of poisoning has been laid firmly at Russia’s door without a shred of proof that Russia was involved.
Make no mistake:  the man Trump is the worst president the US has ever had.  He is, in the well-chosen words of the commentator Robert Reich, a “selfish, thin-skinned, petulant, lying, narcissistic, boastful megalomaniac.” But — it seems he wants to talk and negotiate with Russia, rather than indulging in ceaseless confrontation..
Trump has long expressed interest in improving ties with Russia, and the recent summit was his first real opportunity for doing so. Yet it will be difficult for this progress to have any permanence with so many in the Military-Industrial Complex uniting to undermine it. The Deep State’s fury and bitterness will not die down, and its propaganda campaigns will continue to fuel the Second Cold War. Exporting weapons is most lucrative, and many big-ticket items are scheduled to be sold to European countries, which is why it’s important to keep Russia as an enemy.


Who Does America Belong To?
Not to Americans
Paul Craig Roberts
The housing market is now apparently turning down. Consumer incomes are limited by jobs offshoring and the ability of employers to hold down wages and salaries.  The Federal Reserve seems committed to higher interest rates — in my view to protect the exchange value of the US dollar on which Washington’s power is based.  The arrogant fools in Washington, with whom I spent a quarter century, have, with their bellicosity and sanctions, encouraged nations with independent foreign and economic policies to drop the use of the dollar.  This takes some time to accomplish, but Russia, China, Iran, and India are apparently committed to dropping  or reducing the use of the US dollar.
A drop in the world demand for dollars can be destabilizing of the dollar’s value unless the central banks of Japan, UK, and EU continue to support the dollar’s exchange value, either by purchasing dollars with their currencies or by printing offsetting amounts of their currencies to keep the dollar’s value stable.  So far they have been willing to do both.  However, Trump’s criticisms of Europe has soured Europe against Trump, with a corresponding weakening of the willingness to cover for the US.  Japan’s colonial status viv-a-vis the US since the Second World War is being stressed by the hostility that Washington is introducing into Japan’s part of the world.  The orchestrated Washington tensions with North Korea and China do not serve Japan, and those Japanese politicians who are not heavily on the US payroll are aware that Japan is being put on the line for American, not Japanese interests.

If all this leads, as is likely, to the rise of more independence among Washington’s vassals, the vassals are likely to protect themselves from the cost of their independence by removing themselves from the dollar and payments mechanisms associated with the dollar as world currency.  This means a drop in the value of the dollar that the Federal Reserve would have to prevent by raising interest rates on dollar investments in order to keep the demand for dollars up sufficiently to protect its value.
As every realtor knows, housing prices boom when interest rates are low, because the lower the rate the higher the price of the house that the person with the mortgage can afford.  But when interest rates rise, the lower the price of the house that a buyer can afford.

If we are going into an era of higher interest rates, home prices and sales are going to decline.
The “on the other hand” to this analysis is that if the Federal Reserve loses control of the situation and the debts associated with the current value of the US dollar become a problem that can collapse the system, the Federal Reserve is likely to pump out enough new money to preserve the debt by driving interest rates back to zero or negative.

Would this save or revive the housing market?  Not if the debt-burdened American people have no substantial increases in their real income.  Where are these increases likely to come from? Robotics are about to take away the jobs not already lost to jobs offshoring. Indeed, despite President Trump’s emphasis on “bringing the jobs back,” Ford Motor Corp. has just announced that it is moving the production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to China

Apparently it never occurs to the executives running America’s offshored corporations that potential customers in America working in part time jobs stocking shelves in Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc., will not have enough money to purchase a Ford.  Unlike Henry Ford, who had the intelligence to pay workers good wages so they could buy Fords, the executives of American companies today sacrifice their domestic market and the American economy to their short-term “performance bonuses” based on low foreign labor costs.
 
What is about to happen in America today is that the middle class, or rather those who were part of it as children and expected to join it, are going to be driven into manufactured “double-wide homes” or single trailers.  The MacMansions will be cut up into tenements.  Even the high-priced rentals along the Florida coast will find a drop in demand as real incomes continue to fall. The $5,000-$20,000 weekly summer rental rate along Florida’s panhandle 30A will not be sustainable.  The speculators who are in over their heads in this arena are due for a future shock.

For years I have reported on the monthly payroll jobs statistics.  The vast majority of new jobs are in lowly paid nontradable domestic services, such as waitresses and bartenders, retail clerks, and ambulatory health care services. In the payroll jobs report for June, for example, the new jobs, if they actually exist, are concentrated in these sectors:  administrative and waste services, health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, and local government.

High productivity, high value-added manufactured jobs shrink in the US as they are offshored to Asia.  High productivity, high value-added professional service jobs, such as research, design, software engineering, accounting, legal research, are being filled by offshoring or by foreigners brought into the US on work visas with the fabricated and false excuse that there are no Americans qualified for the jobs. See:  The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

America is a country hollowed out by the short-term greed of the ruling class and its shills in the economics profession and in Congress.  Capitalism only works for the few. It no longer works for the many.

On national security grounds Trump should respond to Ford’s announcement of offshoring the production of Ford Focus to China by nationalizing Ford.  Michigan’s payrolls and tax base will decline and employment in China will rise. We are witnessing a major US corporation enabling China’s rise over the United States. Among the external costs of Ford’s contribution to China’s GDP is Trump’s increased US military budget to counter the rise in China’s power.

Trump should also nationalize Apple, Nike, Levi, and all the rest of the offshored US global corporations who have put the interest of a few people above the interests of the American work force and the US economy.  There is no other way to get the jobs back.  Of course, if Trump did this, he would be assassinated.

America is ruled by a tiny percentage of people who constitute a treasonous class. These people have the money to purchase the government, the media, and the economics profession that shills for them. This greedy traitorous interest group must be dealt with or the United States of America and the entirety of its peoples are lost.

In her latest blockbuster book, Collusion, Nomi Prins documents how central banks and international monetary institutions have used the 2008 financial crisis to manipulate markets and the fiscal policies of governments to benefit the super-rich. See: 
Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World.

These manipulations are used to enable the looting of countries such as Greece and Portugal by the large German and Dutch banks and the enrichment via inflated financial asset prices of shareholders at the expense of the general population.

One would think that repeated financial crises would undermine the power of financial interests, but the facts are otherwise. As long ago as November 21, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to Col. House that “the real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
Thomas Jefferson said that “banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies” and that “if the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks . . . will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” The shrinkage of the US middle class is evidence that Jefferson’s prediction is coming true.

Lee is always much better than just Camp.


CNN just hosted a panel on whether the US should topple Iran & what regime should replace it. Every segment like this presupposes it’s ok & right for the US to destroy other countries & millions of lives at our whim. These commentators are true sociopaths.

And Thomas Frank could be the hero of our time.

Not Pechorin, of course, or even Onegin. But a truly courageous hero when we desperately need one. (Apologies to Lermontov (and Pushkin).)

Yes. I studied Russian Lit. Deal with it and give Thomas a serious listen. You won't regret it and his reasoned arguments might provide the basis for finding our way out of this world-ending financial debacle.






Saturday, March 10, 2018

UNC Beats Duke - On to Virginia! (Google Admits It Works for Pentagon: Drone Murder Program)




UNC Beats Dook!


Going for Virginia tomorrow night!!!!
____________________


In my afternoon mail, I found some really terrific political insight from my favorite reporter, Lee Camp at "Redacted Tonight," when he interviews the incredibly still alive ex-CIA operative, Ray McGovern.

Hey -
In this gripping interview with 27-year CIA veteran Ray McGovern, he tells me that Deep State is very real and that they are now circling wagons for war with Iran. He also explains that Israel is dictating our foreign policy (big surprise).
Click here to watch.

Please share if you see fit. Keep fighting.

- Lee


____________________


I also found that Professor Paul Craig Roberts has made a telling discovery for us all:

It Seems Google Is Another Criminal Element In Murder Inc.



Just an innocent private IT company? Yeah right, it's part of the military-industrial complex, profiting from empire's endless wars and up to its elbows in blood
In another milestone in the growing integration between the military-intelligence complex and Silicon Valley, Google’s parent company Alphabet has confirmed that it has provided software to identify targets used in the illegal US government drone murder program. (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Helping Pentagon blow up Afghan weddings

Since initiating its drone assassination program in 2009, the United States claims to have killed close to 3,000 “combatants” in drone strikes. Internal military documents show that for every one person targeted by a drone strike, nine bystanders are killed, meaning that the true toll of the US military’s airborne terrorism campaign in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq potentially rises to the tens of thousands.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “A program of targeted killing far from any battlefield, without charge or trial, violates the constitutional guarantee of due process. It also violates international law, under which lethal force may be used outside armed conflict zones only as a last resort.”
Google’s complicity with the drone murder program implicates the company in the criminal activities of the US military, sparking outrage among employees after executives admitted the collaboration in an internal memo last week, according to a report by Gizmodo.
Sensitive to both the potential legal ramifications of its actions and to the hostility to America’s criminal wars both inside and outside the company, Google stressed in a statement that its collaboration “is for non-offensive uses only,” saying “the technology flags images for human review.”
But this absurd and unserious pretense, aimed to provide talking points to an uncritical, state-controlled media, is the equivalent of a Mafia getaway driver claiming he is not an accomplice to murder because he did not pull the trigger.
The US government has claimed the right to use drones to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world, including within the borders of the United States. In 2011, the Obama administration assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, with a Predator drone strike in Yemen, then murdered his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, in another drone strike two weeks later.
Google’s partnership in such nefarious operations threatens it not only with legal sanction around the world, but also with serious commercial repercussions. The company’s decision to proceed despite these dangers points to the increasingly vital role of military contracts in the business operations of the major technology giants.
The Defense Department spent at least $7.4 billion on Artificial Intelligence programs last year, and is expected to spend even more this year, with much of that amount flowing to corporations like Alphabet (Google), Amazon, and Nvidia, whose artificial intelligence capacities reportedly outstrip those of in-house Pentagon programs.
Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter have all announced measures to censor the information their services present to users, promoting “authoritative” and “trusted” news outlets over “alternative” viewpoints, which include news outlets that expose and denounce US war crimes. Facebook, which of all the technology companies has been the most unabashed in its determination to censor its platform, has explicitly said it expects user engagement to drop as a result of its demotion of “viral” videos and promotion of “trusted” news sources, such as the New York Times.
As these companies expect some drop-off in consumer demand as they impose increasingly restrictive censorship measures, lucrative defense contracts are a means to pad their bottom line and align their financial interests ever more closely with the war-making and repressive operations of the American state.
The technology giants have moved to impose censorship measures at the same time that the Pentagon has concluded that it has found itself in an “AI arms race,” as the Wall Street Journal put it this month. Facing the rapid economic rise of substantial military powers, such as Russia and China, who are able to develop and implement new technologies without the massive logistical burden of the countless wars, overseas deployments, and destabilization operations engaged in by the United States. US military planners have come to the conclusion that the only way to retain the American military advantage in future conflicts is to integrate Silicon Valley into the war-fighting machine.
The Pentagon has devised the so-called “Third offset” strategy to defeat the “pacing threat” from China by focusing on “autonomous learning systems, human-machine collaborative decision-making, assisted human operations, advanced manned-unmanned systems operations,” and “networked autonomous weapons” as the Economist recently put it in the cover story of an issue titled “The Next War.
This strategy revolves around the recruitment of the US private technology sector, which remains the most developed in the world. As the Economist put it, the United States “continues to dominate commercial AI funding and has more firms working in the field than any other country.”
Speaking at a conference last year, Marine Corps Col. Drew Cukor, the head of the so-called “Project Maven” in which Google is a key collaborator, declared the US in the midst of an “AI arms race,” adding, “Many of you will have noted that Eric Schmidt is calling Google an AI company now, not a data company.” 
He added, “There is no ‘black box’ that delivers the AI system the government needs... Key elements have to be put together … and the only way to do that is with commercial partners alongside us.”
In order to streamline the reciprocal exchange between the technology giants’ vast computational power, artificial intelligence capabilities, and massive database of sensitive user data and the US military’s virtually limitless budget, the Pentagon has set up a series of partnerships with Silicon Valley. In 2015, the Pentagon set up a private-public funding vehicle known as the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), headquartered just minutes from Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California.

A 2016 meeting between Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter about the Defense Innovation Advisory Board for the DoD

In another milestone in the growing integration between the military-intelligence complex and Silicon Valley, Google’s parent company Alphabet has confirmed that it has provided software to identify targets used in the illegal US government drone murder program.
Since initiating its drone assassination program in 2009, the United States claims to have killed close to 3,000 “combatants” in drone strikes. Internal military documents show that for every one person targeted by a drone strike, nine bystanders are killed, meaning that the true toll of the US military’s airborne terrorism campaign in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq potentially rises to the tens of thousands.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “A program of targeted killing far from any battlefield, without charge or trial, violates the constitutional guarantee of due process. It also violates international law, under which lethal force may be used outside armed conflict zones only as a last resort.”
Google’s complicity with the drone murder program implicates the company in the criminal activities of the US military, sparking outrage among employees after executives admitted the collaboration in an internal memo last week, according to a report by Gizmodo.
Sensitive to both the potential legal ramifications of its actions and to the hostility to America’s criminal wars both inside and outside the company, Google stressed in a statement that its collaboration “is for non-offensive uses only,” saying “the technology flags images for human review.”
But this absurd and unserious pretense, aimed to provide talking points to an uncritical, state-controlled media, is the equivalent of a Mafia getaway driver claiming he is not an accomplice to murder because he did not pull the trigger.
The US government has claimed the right to use drones to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world, including within the borders of the United States. In 2011, the Obama administration assassinated Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, with a Predator drone strike in Yemen, then murdered his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, in another drone strike two weeks later.
Google’s partnership in such nefarious operations threatens it not only with legal sanction around the world, but also with serious commercial repercussions. The company’s decision to proceed despite these dangers points to the increasingly vital role of military contracts in the business operations of the major technology giants.
The Defense Department spent at least $7.4 billion on artificial intelligence programs last year, and is expected to spend even more this year, with much of that amount flowing to corporations like Alphabet (Google), Amazon, and Nvidia, whose artificial intelligence capacities reportedly outstrip those of in-house Pentagon programs.
Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter have all announced measures to censor the information their services present to users, promoting “authoritative” and “trusted” news outlets over “alternative” viewpoints, which include news outlets that expose and denounce US war crimes. Facebook, which of all the technology companies has been the most unabashed in its determination to censor its platform, has explicitly said it expects user engagement to drop as a result of its demotion of “viral” videos and promotion of “trusted” news sources, such as the New York Times.
As these companies expect some drop-off in consumer demand as they impose increasingly restrictive censorship measures, lucrative defense contracts are a means to pad their bottom line and align their financial interests ever more closely with the war-making and repressive operations of the American state.
The technology giants have moved to impose censorship measures at the same time that the Pentagon has concluded that it has found itself in an “AI arms race,” as the Wall Street Journal put it this month. Facing the rapid economic rise of substantial military powers, such as Russia and China, who are able to develop and implement new technologies without the massive logistical burden of the countless wars, overseas deployments, and destabilization operations engaged in by the United States. US military planners have come to the conclusion that the only way to retain the American military advantage in future conflicts is to integrate Silicon Valley into the warfighting machine.
The Pentagon has devised the so-called “Third offset” strategy to defeat the “pacing threat” from China by focusing on “autonomous learning systems, human-machine collaborative decision-making, assisted human operations, advanced manned-unmanned systems operations,” and “networked autonomous weapons” as the Economist recently put it in the cover story of an issue titled “The next war.”
This strategy revolves around the recruitment of the US private technology sector, which remains the most developed in the world. As the Economist put it, the United States “continues to dominate commercial AI funding and has more firms working in the field than any other country.”
Speaking at a conference last year, Marine Corps Col. Drew Cukor, the head of the so-called “Project Maven” in which Google is a key collaborator, declared the US in the midst of an “AI arms race,” adding, “Many of you will have noted that Eric Schmidt is calling Google an AI company now, not a data company.”
He added, “There is no ‘black box’ that delivers the AI system the government needs... Key elements have to be put together … and the only way to do that is with commercial partners alongside us.”
In order to streamline the reciprocal exchange between the technology giants’ vast computational power, artificial intelligence capabilities, and massive database of sensitive user data and the US military’s virtually limitless budget, the Pentagon has set up a series of partnerships with Silicon Valley. In 2015, the Pentagon set up a private-public funding vehicle known as the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), headquartered just minutes from Google’s main campus in Mountain View, California.

Now to get someone to accept responsibility for the questionable actions of MicroSoft, Facebook. Amazon, . . . .

______________


And back to the celebrations - one on Franklin Street!