Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Inside Scoop - The Wealthy Grab the Money and Make the Poor Pay the Tab (Why Disinformation (Lying) Always Works) The Assads Attempt to Modernize Syria



Happy (belated) Birthday, Bumblehive (AKA Stellar Wind).

Not really happy, actually. Thanks to my bestest buddy, Dr. Tricia in the Bronx (or is it Brooklyn now? She moves around a lot) for directing my attention to the following essay, which explicates statistically a subject I've been preaching about for years (check the top line of this blog) to a largely speechless audience (you'd think their arithmetic skills were a little light or they'd be commenting loudly).

Monday, 03 June 2013

The Wealthy Grab the Money and Make the Poor Pay the Tab


Paul Buchheit

Buzzflash at Truthout

In football terms, "piling on" means jumping on a player when he's down. In the economic new normal described by Bernie Sanders, it means taking most of the wealth and all of the income, moving profits and jobs overseas, and making impoverished people pay the bills.

1. Wealth Grab
According to an AP report, the stock market has regained all its losses since March, 2009 while adding an extra 18 percent. That's $11 trillion restored, plus almost $2 trillion gained.

Using Economic Policy Institute figures (Tables 6 & 7), we can determine the beneficiaries of the new wealth:

  • The richest 1%, 1.15 million families with 38.3% of the stocks, each regained their losses and added an additional $666,000.

  • The next 2-5%, 4.6 million families with 30.9% of the stocks, each regained their losses and added an additional $134,000.

  • The rest of the top 20%, 17.25 million families with 22% of the stocks, each regained their losses and added an additional $25,500.

  • The 30% just above the middle, 34.5 million families with 8.9% of the stocks, each regained their losses and added an additional $5,160.

  • The bottom 50%, 57.5 million families with 0% of the stocks, gained nothing.
2. Taking ALL the Income

Charles Koch said, "I want my fair share - and that's all of it." He's been getting his wish lately. In the first two years of the recovery, the richest 1% seemingly impossibly captured 121% of the income gains, while incomes for 99% of Americans declined, with the median household income dropping by 7.3 percent.
More and more people are working in respectable but low-wage positions in food service and retail. Low-income jobs ($7.69 to $13.83 per hour) made up 1/5 of the jobs lost to the recession, but accounted for 3/5 of the jobs regained during the recovery.

3. Corporate Betrayal

According to their own SEC reports, Citigroup, Pfizer, and Bank of America made much of their 2011-12 revenue in the U.S. (42%, 40%, and 82%, respectively). Yet they declared a total of $69 billion in foreign profits and losses of $19 billion in the United States.

As the big companies have been declaring themselves multinationals with no allegiance to the country that made them successful, they've also eliminated tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. Citigroup, Pfizer, and Bank of America are among the leading job cutters. The shock of the recession has allowed them to turn their backs on their country, and Americans are too bewildered (and ill-represented) to properly fight back.

4. Let the Hungry Pay
The massive four-year redistribution of wealth and income toward the top leaves bills to be paid. So Congress wants to cut food assistance. Nearly 47 million people get an average of less than $5 a day to eat, at a total 2012 cost of about $80 billion, which is about the same amount made by just twenty Americans from one year of investment income.

In the spirit of American independence, Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee quoted the Bible: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." Fincher, along with all but one of his Congressional colleagues, failed to show up for a recent unemployment hearing. Hungry Americans remain at the bottom of the pile, getting crushed by arrogance and insensitivity.

(Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, a writer for progressive publications, and the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org).)



Why Disinformation Works

May 23, 2013

By Paul Craig Roberts

Have you ever wondered how the government's misinformation gains traction?


What I have noticed is that whenever a stunning episode occurs, such as 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing, most everyone whether on the right or left goes along with the government's explanation, because they can hook their agenda to the government's account.

The leftwing likes the official stories of Muslims creating terrorist mayhem in America, because it proves their blowback theory and satisfies them that the dispossessed and oppressed can fight back against imperialism.

The patriotic rightwing likes the official story, because it proves America is attacked for its goodness or because terrorists were allowed in by immigration authorities and nurtured by welfare, or because the government, which can't do anything right, ignored plentiful warnings.

Whatever the government says, no matter how problematical, the official story gets its traction from its compatibility with existing predispositions and agendas.

In such a country, truth has no relevance. Only agendas are important.

A person can see this everywhere. I could write volumes illustrating how agenda-driven writers across the spectrum will support the most improbable government stories despite the absence of any evidence simply because the government's line can be used to support their agendas.

For example, a conservative writer in the June issue of Chronicles uses the government's story about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to argue against immigration, amnesty for illegals, and political asylum for Muslims. He writes: "Even the most high-tech security systems imaginable will inevitably fail as they are overwhelmed by a flood of often hostile and dangerous immigrants."

The writer accepts all of the improbable government statements as proof that the brothers were guilty. The wounded brother who was unable to respond to the boat owner who discovered him and had to be put on life support somehow managed to write a confession on the inside of the boat.

As soon as the authorities have the brother locked up in a hospital on life support, "unnamed officials" and "authorities who remain anonymous" are planting the story in the media that the suspect is signing written confessions of his guilt while on life support. No one has seen any of these written confessions. But we know that they exist, because the government and media say so.

The conservative writer knows that Dzhokhar is guilty because he is Muslim and a Chechen. Therefore, it does not occur to the writer to wonder about the agenda of the unnamed sources who are busy at work creating belief in the brothers' guilt. This insures that no juror would dare vote for acquittal and have to explain it to family and friends. Innocent until proven guilty in a court has been thrown out the window. This should disturb the conservative writer, but doesn't.

The conservative writer sees Chechen ethnicity as an indication of guilt even though the brothers grew up in the US as normal Americans, because Chechens are "engaged in anti-Russian jihad." But Chechens have no reason for hostility against the US. As evidence indicates, Washington supports the Chechens in their conflict with Russia. By supporting Chechen terrorism, Washington violates all of the laws that it ruthlessly applies to compassionate Americans who give donations to Palestinian charities that Washington alleges are run by Hamas, a Washington-declared terrorist organization.

It doesn't occur to the conservative writer that something is amiss when martial law is established over one of America's main cities and its metropolitan area, 10,000 heavily armed troops are put on the streets with tanks, and citizens are ordered out of their homes with their hands over their heads, all of this just to search for one wounded 19-year old suspect. Instead the writer blames the "surveillance state" on "the inevitable consequences of suicidal liberalism" which has embraced "the oldest sin in the world: rebellion against authority."

The writer is so pleased to use the government's story line as a way of indulging the conservative's romance with authority and striking a blow at liberalism that he does not notice that he has lined up against the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence and rebelled against authority.


I could just as easily have used a left-wing writer to illustrate the point that improbable explanations are acceptable if they fit with predispositions and can be employed in behalf of an agenda.

Think about it. Do you not think that it is extraordinary that the only investigations we have of such events as 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing are private investigations, such as this investigation of the backpacks.

There was no investigation of 9/11. Indeed, the White House resisted any inquiry at all for one year despite the insistent demands from the 9/11 families. NIST did not investigate anything. NIST simply constructed a computer model that was consistent with the government's story. The 9/11 Commission simply sat and listened to the government's explanation and wrote it down. These are not investigations.

The only investigations have come from a physicist who proved that WTC 7 came down at free fall and was thus the result of controlled demolition, from a team of scientists who examined dust from the WTC towers and found nano-thermite, from high-rise architects and structural engineers with decades of experience, and from first responders and firefighters who were in the towers and experienced explosions throughout the towers, even in the sub-basements.


We have reached the point where evidence is no longer required. The government's statements suffice. Only conspiracy kooks produce real evidence.

In America, government statements have a unique authority. This authority comes from the white hat that the US wore in World War II and in the subsequent Cold War. It was easy to demonize Nazi Germany, Soviet Communism and Maoist China.

Even today when Russian publications interview me about the perilous state of civil liberty in the US and Washington's endless illegal military attacks abroad, I sometimes receive reports that some Russians believe that it was an impostor who was interviewed, not the real Paul Craig Roberts. There are Russians who believe that it was President Reagan who brought freedom to Russia, and as I served in the Reagan administration these Russians associate me with their vision of America as a light unto the world.

Some Russians actually believe that Washington's wars are truly wars of liberation.


The same illusions reign among Chinese dissidents. Chen Guangcheng is the Chinese dissident who sought refuge in the US Embassy in China. Recently he was interviewed by the BBC World Service. Chen Guangcheng believes that the US protects human rights while China suppresses human rights.

He complained to the BBC that in China police can arrest citizens and detain them for as long as six months without accounting for their detainment. He thought that the US and UK should publicly protest this violation of due process, a human right.

Apparently, Chen Guangcheng is unaware that US citizens are subject to indefinite detention without due process and even to assassination without due process.


The Chinese government allowed Chen Guangcheng safe passage to leave China and live in the US. Chen Guangcheng is so dazzled by his illusions of America as a human rights beacon that it has never occurred to him that the oppressive, human rights-violating Chinese government gave him safe passage, but that Julian Assange, after being given political asylum by Ecuador is still confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington will not allow its UK puppet state to permit his safe passage to Ecuador.

Perhaps Chen Guangcheng and the Chinese and Russian dissidents who are so enamored of the US could gain some needed perspective if they were to read US soldier Terry Holdbrooks' book about the treatment given to the Guantanamo prisoners.

Holdbrooks was there on the scene, part of the process, and this is what he told RT: "The torture and information extraction methods that we used certainly created a great deal of doubt and questions in my mind to whether or not this was my America. But when I thought about what we were doing there and how we go about doing it, it did not seem like the America I signed up to defend. It did not seem like the America I grew up in. And that in itself was a very disillusioning experience."


In a May 17 WallStreetJournal.com article, Peggy Noonan wrote that President Obama has lost his patina of high-mindedness. What did Obama do that brought this loss upon himself? 

Is it because he sits in the Oval Office approving lists of US citizens to be assassinated without due process of law? Is it because he detains US citizens indefinitely in violation of habeas corpus? Is it because he has kept open the torture prison at Guantanamo? Is it because he continued the war that the neoconservatives started, despite his promise to end it, and started new wars?

Is it because he attacks with drones people in their homes, medical centers, and work places in countries with which the US is not at war? Is it because his corrupt administration spies on American citizens without warrants and without cause?

No. It is none of these reasons. In Noonan's view these are not offenses for which presidents, even Democratic ones, lose their high-minded patina. Obama can no longer be trusted, because the IRS hassled some conservative political activists.

Noonan is a Republican, and what Obama did wrong was to use the IRS against some Republicans. Apparently, it has not occurred to Noonan that if Obama--or any president--can use the IRS against opponents, he can use Homeland Security and the police state against them. He can use indefinite detention against them. He can use drones against them.

All of these are much more drastic measures. Why isn't Peggy Noonan concerned? Because she thinks these measures will only be used against terrorists, just as the IRS is only supposed to be used against tax evaders.

When a public and the commentators who inform it accept the collapse of the Constitution's authority and the demise of their civil liberties, to complain about the IRS is pointless.
(Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here.)



I (and many others) have been documenting for quite a while that America (America? Can you dig it?) has been supporting the CIA/Saudia Arabia-trained al-Qaida troops in Syria (among others) with armaments and tons of money, and has been working hard to get rid of/overthrow/kill the sophisticated, British-educated ophthalmologist (Assad) who's been known as the sharp-witted, modern, secular President of Syria for over 13 years (and has three children with his very glamorous, chic, London-born ex-banker Sunni wife, who has dedicated herself to trying to modernize Syria). "He has been the head of the Syrian Computer Society since 1994, supervising its symposiums and annual exhibitions and encouraging youths to learn about computer and up to date technologies."

. . . "Bashar preferred to keep away from the spotlight, clinging to a small group of friends from the field of information technology. He was never known to have supported any of his friends to gain higher positions or helped anyone to strike a deal in business or construction." And, of course, after his ascendancy to the Presidency, it went downhill, culminating in the American/NATO/banksters attack and eventual descent into World War III (or IV or V, however you've been counting) times.

The American media will not be illuminating all the facts in this situation for anyone anytime soon. We learn every day what it means to be a part of the American Empire, which can tolerate no others and certainly not the truth about its own behavior (as well as others').



The Assads

America’s Greatest Affliction: The Presstitute Media

By Paul Craig Roberts
When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

It seems that every day I witness a dozen or more examples. Take May 31 for example.
 
The presstitutes report that US Secretary of State John Kerry and his German counterpart are working on Russia to convince that country to be a “party to peace” in Syria by not supplying the Syrian government, whose country has been invaded, with arms. Kerry and the Israelis especially do not want Russia to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria.

This was the extent of the presstitutes’ report. The presstitutes made no mention of the fact that the invasion of Syria by al-Qaeda affiliated radical Muslims was organized and equipped by Washington via its proxies in the region, such as Saudia Arabia and the oil emirates.
Americans sufficiently stupid to rely on the presstitute media do not know that it is not Syrians who want to overthrow their government, but Washington, Israel, and radical Islamists who object to Syria’s secular non-confrontational government.

One might think that the US media would wonder why Washington prefers to have al-Qaeda governing Syria than a non-confrontational secular government. But such a question is off-limits for the US media.

Israel, unlike Washington which so far hides behind proxies, has actually openly committed war crimes as defined by the Nuremberg trials of Nazis by initiating unprovoked aggression against Syria by militarily attacking the country.


In reporting Kerry’s pressure on Putin, presstitutes made no mention that the Washington-backed attempted overthrow of the Syrian government has run into difficulty, causing President Obama to ask the Pentagon to come up with a no-fly plan, which means according to the Libya precedent NATO or US air attacks on Syrian government forces. As the S-300 missiles are a defensive weapon, Obama’s plan to send in Western or Israeli air forces to attack the Syrian army is why Kerry is pressuring Russia not to honor its contract to deliver to Syria the S-300 missiles, which can knock US, NATO, and Israeli aircraft out of the sky.

Those who believed that Kerry could have made a difference as president must be disillusioned to see what a warmongering whore he is. In America marketing is everything; truth is nothing.


The real news story is that Washington is trying to convince Putin to acquiesce to Washington’s overthrow of the Syrian government so that Russia can be evicted from its only naval base in the Mediterranean Sea, thus making it Washington’s sea, Washington’s Mare Nostrum. The American pressitutes put all the onus on the Russian government for not helping Washington to overthrow the Syrian government in order that Washington has another victory over Russia and can start next on Iran.


William Hague, who serves, with Washington’s approval, as British foreign secretary to the shame of a once proud nation, made this clear when he declared: “We want a solution without Assad. We do not accept the stay of Assad.” This is amazing hypocrisy, because the Syrian government is more respectful of human rights than Washington and London.


While Kerry was trying to con Putin, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the Obama administration’s immediate priority was removing Assad from power (http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/302773-white-house-no-role-for-assad-in-transitional-government). So for the US and UK, “peace” means the overthrow of the Syrian government by force.


Why isn’t the United Nations protesting? The answer is that the countries and their UN representatives have been purchased by Washington. Money talks. Integrity and justice don’t. Integrity and justice are poverty-inflicted. The UN belongs to the evil empire. Washington owns it. The American Empire has the money. It pays for the headlines and for the budget that lets the UN delegates enjoy New York City,


In the world today, integrity is worthless, but money is valuable, and Washington has the money because, as the dollar is the world reserve currency, it can be printed in sufficient quantities to purchase every country’s government, including our own. One year out of office and Tony Blair was worth $35 million. Look at the amazing Clinton riches. According to news report, $3.2 million was spent on Chelsea’s wedding (http://www.goingwedding.com/news_detail.asp?newsid=67).

Hague said that the UK and France “seek to end the ban on arming Syrian rebels.” Hague did not explain how the invasion force was armed if there is a ban against arming it. But Hague did tell us who the invading force is: “the Syrian National Coalition,” which consists of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt (still the American puppet), the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Germany and Italy.

Obviously, the talk about a “Syrian rebellion” is pure BS. Syria is confronted with an attempted overthrow of its government by the US and its puppet states. Kerry is trying to convince Putin to let Washington overthrow Syria.


As if this wasn’t enough, also on May 31, I listened to E.J. Dionne and David Brooks on National Public Radio discuss the state of the Obama presidency. Both were protective of “our president.” Neither would dare say: “the military-security complex’s president,” “Wall Street’s president,” “the Israel Lobby’s president,” “Monsanto’s president,” “the mining and fracking president.” Obama is “our president.”


Both Brooks and Dionne agreed that the media had got rid of the Benghazi issue and that the IRS persecution of Tea Party members was under the media’s control and was not a threat to Obama. David Brooks did acknowledge that there were economic problems ignored and no new ideas. However, the blatant fact that under Obama the US is in a constitutional crisis, well described by Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois,(http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35134.htm) was not mentioned by NPR’s pundits, who define correct thoughts for the NPR audience, people too busy to pay attention.

In America today, the executive branch in explicit violation of the US Constitution detains indefinitely or murders any US citizen alleged without proof by an unaccountable member of the executive branch to be in any way associated with the broad but undefined term, “terrorism,” even innocently as a donor to hungry or ill Palestinian children. The executive branch clearly violates the US Constitution and US statutory laws against torture and spying on citizens without warrants. Congress does not impeach the president for his obvious crimes, and the Federal Judiciary enables them.


President Nixon was driven from office because he lied about when he learned of a burglary for which he was not responsible. President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying about a sexual affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.


President George W. Bush took America to wars based on obvious lies, and so did President Obama. Both administrations are guilty of war crimes and almost every possible infraction of constitutional and international law. Yet, no presstitute member of the media would dare mention impeachment, and the House would never bring the charge.


There is no doubt whatsoever that in the 21st century presidents, their lawyers, Justice (sic) Department officials, and CIA and black-op operatives have broken law after law, and there is no accountability. For the presstitutes, this is a non-issue. “Rule of law, Constitution? We don’t need no stinking rule of law or Constitution.”


For the presstitutes, the bought-and-paid for-whores for evil, the issues are Obama’s stable poll numbers; teenage girls arrested for fighting at a kindergarten graduation ceremony; "Microsoft’s Bill Gates extended his lead over Mexico’s Carlos Slim as the world’s richest person," "the $14 million-dollar girl: Beyonce rakes it in."

Constitutional crisis? What is that? I mean, really, look at Beyonce’s legs.
Didn’t you hear, the dollar rose today?

The presstitutes have not investigated any important issue. Not 9/11. Not the accumulation of unaccountable power in the executive branch. Not the demise of the Bill of Rights. Not the Boston Marathon bombing. Not the endless and unexplained wars against Muslims who have not attacked the US.

The Boston Marathon saga reached new levels of absurdity with the FBI’s murder of Ibragim Todashev, who was being pressured to admit to various associated crimes.
The presstitutes first reported that Todashev was armed. It was a gun, then a knife, then after the presstitutes duly reported the false information planted on them, which for the insouciance american public was sufficient to explain Toashev’s murder, the FBI admitted that the victim was unarmed.

Nevertheless, he was shot seven times, one to the back of the head. His father wants to know why the FBI assassinated his son, but the presstitutes could not care less. Don’t expect any answer from the American press and TV media or from NPR, an organization that pretends to be a “listener station” but is financed by corporate contributions.

How’s Todashev’s murder for Gestapo justice? Where is the difference? A bullet in the back of the head. And America is the shining light on the hill, the fount of freedom and democracy brought to the world courtesy of the military/security complex out of the barrel of guns and hellfire missiles from drones. And relentless propaganda in the schools, universities, and media.


Washington certainly learned from Mao and Pol Pot.
You kill them into submission.

But you will never hear about it from the presstitutes.

I swear I've written these exact words previously.

Maybe it's finally in the ether and lots of people will start asking the hard questions.


2 comments:

TONY said...

The Usraeli spooks have bitten off more than they can chew in Syria. Syria can fight back and will fight back on a scale unseen in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also have allies. My worry is that the real terrorists in the region, Israel, have access, truly this time, to WMD's.

Suzan said...

But we know that already.

I'm worried that our "decider" (whichever decider is really in charge) doesn't let them.

Or order them to.

P.S. Is there an out yet?

Love ya,

S