Saturday, August 9, 2014

(U.S Strikes Iraq) Psychopaths Uncloaked, US Corps Drool Over New African Investments, $16B Insufficient Bank Fraud Settlement (Come To Local Market for Jailbird Ringleader!)

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

They've all got to go.

Why Airstrikes in Iraq Are a Mistake

This is a slippery slope if those words have any meaning left. Airstrikes are in part to protect American advisors sent earlier to Erbil to support Kurds there because Iraqi central government won’t. The U.S. is assuming the role of the de facto Iraqi Air Force. What happens next week, next crisis, next “genocide?” Tell me how that ends.
Understand how deep the U.S. is already in. It is highly likely that U.S. Special Forces are active on the ground, conducting reconnaissance missions and laser-designating targets for circling U.S. aircraft. If U.S. planes are overhead, U.S. search and rescue assets are not far away, perhaps in desert forward operating positions. This is how bigger wars begin. Go Google “Vietnam War,” say starting about 1963.
The U.S. media is playing the meme that the U.S. is worried about Christian minority in Iraq, as a way to engorge the American people with blood. But the media fails to note that over half of Iraq’s Christians were killed or fled during the U.S. occupation.
The only realistic hope to derail ISIS is to alienate them from Iraq Sunnis, who provide the on-the-ground support any insurgency must have to succeed. Mao called a sympathetic population “the water the fish swims in.” Separating the people from the insurgents is CounterInsurgency 101. Instead, via airstrikes, the U.S. has gone all-in on side of Iraqi Shias and Kurds. You cannot bomb away a political movement. You cannot kill an idea that motivates millions of people with a Hellfire missile.
Sunnis are not confined by the borders of Iraq and this is not a chessboard. U.S. actions toward Sunnis in Iraq (or Syria, or wherever) resonate throughout the Sunni world. There is no better recruitment tool for Sunni extremists than showing their fight is actually against the Americans.
Throughout the broader Islamic world, the takeaway is that again the U.S. unleashes war against Muslims. Nothing can inspire jihad like seeing the struggle in Iraq as one against the Crusaders.

And we now learn that they won't stop anytime soon.

If ever.

How Big Is A $16 Billion Bank Fraud Settlement, Really?

. . . there’s very little reason to believe that these large sums will be paid in full. Much of the “consumer relief” in past deals has turned out to be nothing more than gamesmanship with numbers. Banks modify loans in ways that are advantageous to them, offer deals they almost certainly would’ve offered anyway, and then count them against their “settlement” obligations.

That’s the kind of thing that happened with the much-hyped “$25 billion” foreclosure fraud deal announced in 2012. Subsequent settlements (including last month’s “$7 billion”Citigroup deal) have been vulnerable to the same kind of abuse.

. . . Only the $9 billion is a sure thing – and most of that money will go to government agencies that have a poor record of providing relief to wronged homeowners.

What’s more, it hasn’t been announced whether this deal, like Citigroup’s recent settlement, will be tax-deductible. If so, Americans will get shortchanged at the federal level, too.

Worst of all, nothing in these settlements is likely to dissuade bankers from engaging in similar misadventures in the future. When the New York Times studied bank settlements several years ago, it found that banks routinely violated the pledges they made in agreements like these.

Bank of America had engaged in six repeat violations as of November 7, 2011. Since then it’s been a party to mortgage-related settlements that include the (allegedly) $25 billion foreclosure fraud deal; a $9.3 billion multi-bank settlement in 2013; and an $8.5 billion agreement with a group of mortgage investors it had defrauded.

Many deals with other big banks were also struck during that time. But there have been no criminal prosecutions of big-bank executives, an omission that Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff lamented in a recent speech. Rakoff called the lack of prosecutions from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission “technically and morally suspect” and characterized the excuses they’ve given for failing to prosecute as “hollow” and “lame.”

Where’s the deterrence?

. . . More than a thousand bankers were convicted after the much smaller savings and loan scandal of the 1980s. At this rate most bankers – a risk-taking bunch by nature anyway – will be tempted to take their chances on not getting a crusading judge like Rakoff.

After all, what’s the worst that could happen:   that they might have to give back some of their ill-gotten gains? What fraudster wouldn’t take a bet like that?

. . . the key matters of motive, means and opportunity still remain largely unaddressed. The “High Speed Swim Lane” was designed to streamline fraud, and to reward employees for putting as much trashy business on the books as possible without regard for the consequences. In other words, it simply stated openly what has always been implicit in Wall Street’s incentive packages. Those packages are changing, but far too slowly. Bankers still have the financial motivation to do wrong.

They also have the means. The ratings “agencies” that were deeply complicit in big-bank fraud are still in place. The government still relies on ludicrous ideas about “self-policing.” And bankers still have MERS, the database and false-front company that Wall Street created to avoid state and municipal laws, taxes, and regulations.

MERS is to mortgage fraud what a skeleton key is to burglary, and it’s still in the wrong hands.

Seymour Hersh famously reported that the media world must be run by "nincompoops" due to the fact that they get everything so wrong or that they don't want to research (or come right out and report) what the truth actually is.

Remember that I've previously mentioned my theory about our rulers (including the media "owners") actually being clinical psychopaths?*

Finally, I can report some hard backup.

If you think about the U.S.-led troop "wilding" taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's not difficult to absorb this scholarly research.

Although, of course, you can think of this as just really creative fiction and continue listening to your Faux Snoozecasts at every impinging moment of reflection.

August 7, 2014

"Twilight of the Psychopaths"

by Dr. Kevin Barrett

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it." - John Lennon

When Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western civilization he said it would be a good idea. But that oft-cited quote is misleading, assuming as it does that civilization is an unmitigated blessing. Civilized people, we are told, live peacefully and cooperatively with their fellows, sharing the necessary labour in order to obtain the leisure to develop arts and sciences. And while that would be a good idea, it is not a good description of what has been going on in the so-called advanced cultures during the past 8,000 years. Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and "warfare." Incidentally, the latter term is a euphemism for mass murder.

Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse. The inventor of civilization - the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers - was almost certainly a genetic psychopath.

Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies - especially military hierarchies. Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The 5% or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95% who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers - unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.

In "On Killing", Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has re-written military history, to highlight what other histories hide: The fact that military science is less about strategy and technology, than about overcoming the instinctive human reluctance to kill members of our own species.

The true "Revolution in Military Affairs" was not Donald Rumsfeld's move to high-tech in 2001, but Brigadier Gen. S.L.A. Marshall's discovery in the 1940s that only 15-20% of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would use their weapons: "Those (80-85%) who did not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were willing to risk great danger to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their weapons at the enemy, even when faced with repeated waves of banzai charges."

Marshall's discovery and subsequent research, proved that in all previous wars, a tiny minority of soldiers - the 5% who are natural-born psychopaths, and perhaps a few temporarily-insane imitators - did almost all the killing. Normal men just went through the motions and, if at all possible, refused to take the life of an enemy soldier, even if that meant giving up their own. The implication: Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths. (This cannot be good for humanity's genetic endowment!)

The implication, too frightening for even the likes of Marshall and Grossman to fully digest, was that the norms for soldiers' behavior in battle had been set by psychopaths. That meant that psychopaths were in control of the military as an institution. Worse, it meant that psychopaths were in control of society's perception of military affairs. Evidently, psychopaths exercised an enormous amount of power in seemingly sane, normal society.

How could that be? In Political Ponerology - A Science On The Nature Of Evil, Andrzej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests) psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want.

In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths.

So-called conspiracy theorists, some of whom deserve the pejorative connotation of that much-abused term, often imagine that secret societies of Jews, Jesuits, bankers, communists, Bilderbergers, Muslim extremists, papists, and so on, are secretly controlling history, doing dastardly deeds, and/or threatening to take over the world. As a leading "conspiracy theorist" according to Wikipedia, I feel eminently qualified to offer an alternative conspiracy theory which, like the alternative conspiracy theory of 9/11, is both simpler and more accurate than the prevailing wisdom:  The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.

Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as that power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld - the criminal syndicate or overlapping set of syndicates that lurks above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it.

In 9/11 and the 9/11 wars, we are seeing the final desperate power-grab or "endgame" of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and President-killers; money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men, economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops experts and PR specialists-in short, the whole sick crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running scared. It was their terror of losing control that they projected onto the rest of us by blowing up the Twin Towers and inciting temporary psychopathic terror-rage in the American public.

Why does the pathocracy fear it is losing control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. As George H. W. Bush said to journalist Sarah McClendon, December 1992, "If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us." His statement to McClendon should be taken seriously.

Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely different from other people. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others' emotions so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.

This manipulation of shame has the added benefit of making psychopathic organizations effectively invisible to normal society. Despite easily available media reports, American voters in 2004 simply refused to see that the two major-party presidential candidates had lain naked in a coffin masturbating in front of older Bonesmen in order to gain admission to "Skull and Bones" and thus become members of the criminal overworld.

Likewise, many Americans have long refused to see that hawkish elements of the overworld, operating through the CIA, had obviously been the murderers of JFK, MLK, RFK, JFK Jr., Malcolm X, Che, Allende, Wellstone, Lumumba, Aguilera, Diem, and countless other relatively non-psychopathic leaders. They refuse to see the continuing murders of millions of people around the world in what amounts to an American holocaust.

They refuse to see the evidence that the psychopaths' guilds running America's most powerful institutions use the most horrific forms of sexualized abuse imaginable to induce multiple-personality-disorder in child victims, then use the resulting mind-control slaves as disposable drug-runners, prostitutes, Manchurian candidates, and even diplomatic envoys. And of course they refuse to see that 9/11 was a transparently obvious inside job, and that their own psychopath-dominated military-intelligence apparatus is behind almost every major terrorist outrage of recent decades.

All of this psychopathic behavior at the top of the social hierarchy is simply too shameful for ordinary people to see, so they avert their gaze, just as wives of husbands who are sexually abusing their children sometimes refuse to see what is happening in plain view. If deep, deep denial were a river in Egypt, American citizens' willful blindness would be more like the Marianas Trench.

Truly, we are witnessing the twilight of the psychopaths. Whether in their death throes they succeed in pulling down the curtain of eternal night on all of us, or whether we resist them and survive to see the dawn of a civilization worthy of the name, is the great decision in which all of us others, however humbly, are now participating.”

About the writer:  Dr. Kevin Barrett, co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance for 9/11 Truth, LINK, has taught English, French, Arabic, American Civilization, Humanities, African Literature, Folklore, and Islam at colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay area, Paris, and Madison, Wisconsin. Barrett became a 9/11 truth activist in 2004 after reading David Griffin's The New Pearl Harbor and conducting follow-up research that convinced him Griffin had accurately summarized evidence indicating 9/11 was an inside job.
Posted by CoyotePrime

*He knew about Abu Ghraib five months before he could write about it, having been tipped off by a senior Iraqi army officer who risked his own life by coming out of Baghdad to Damascus to tell him how prisoners had been writing to their families asking them to come and kill them because they had been "despoiled".
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Fox's Charles Payne Says Walgreens CEO 'Destroyed Capitalism' By Staying In The U.S.

“I think he scored a huge victory today,” Payne said of Obama, “when the CEO of Walgreens — they made an acquisition of a company, they had an opportunity to do inversion. Instead they said no, we won’t.” He said that decision caused Walgreens stock to lose $10 billion in value and will lose billions more in profits that they would not have to pay have they inverted and left the U.S.

“So essentially, the CEO of Walgreens destroyed capitalism, shareholder rights,” Payne continued. “He not only blinked, he gave the president so much ammunition.” He added, “It was one of the most shameful moves I’ve seen a CEO do in a long time.”

“Sounds like the guy folded like a cheap suit,” (Neal) Cavuto added.

. . . To demonstrate how out of touch Fox Business analyst Charles Payne is, he went on the air earlier this week with a simple message – that paying your taxes is anti-capitalist. His apparent belief that tax cheating is something to be proud of is something highly disturbing for any high-profile business analyst. That he would proclaim that the CEO of Walgreens had ‘destroyed Capitalism’ instead of responded to consumer pressure (as a good Capitalist should do) shows us Mr. Payne’s priorities is not for having a good business, or thriving economy, but just plain old fashioned greed.

And even more "owner" profit taking is upcoming!

August 06, 2014
Obama Pushes Africa Investment as US Corporations 'Drool' Over Resources

Critics warn Obama's multibillion dollar push to open Africa for U.S. business will further dispossess and impoverish people across the continent.

At a Washington, DC gathering of African state leaders and U.S. corporations, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a multi-billion dollar drive to promote U.S. business investments in Africa. While the President said the plan will unleash "the next era of African growth," experts warn it amounts to more of the same extractive policies that have already impoverished and dispossessed people across the continent.

"All you have to do is look who has a seat at the table to understand what is happening," said Emira Woods, expert on U.S. foreign policy in Africa and social impact director at ThoughtWorks, a technology firm committed to social and economic justice, in an interview with Common Dreams. "We're talking African leaders, some with bad human rights records, and American CEOs."

Obama's much-touted "Africa Summit" — which started Monday and ends Wednesday — is co-sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation, and was attended by chief executives of General Electric, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, IBM, and other multinational corporations.

Obama took the opportunity to announce $7 billion in what the White House describes as "new financing to promote U.S. exports to and investments in Africa." Obama also championed $14 billion in new investments by U.S. corporations in Africa, which includes $5 billion from Coca-Cola for manufacturing equipment. This is in addition to another $12 billion in new commitments for Obama's Power Africa initiative, which will give multinational corporations — including GE — billions of dollars in energy deals to "double the number of people with access to power in Sub-Saharan Africa." The total bill comes to $33 billion for "supporting economic growth across Africa and tens of thousands of U.S. jobs," according to the White House.

. . . General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt put the interest of U.S. corporations more bluntly at a discussion moderated by former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Tuesday. “We kind of gave Africa to the Europeans first and to the Chinese later, but today it’s wide open for us," he said, according to the Washington Post.

“I’m excited about Africa,” Wal-Mart chief executive Doug McMillon said at the same discussion. “For us, it’s a long-term proposition. We invested $2.6 billion in 2011, and that’s just the beginning.”

But that is just what critics are worried about.

"Strip away all the modern PR and prettified palaver and it’s an ugly scramble for oil, minerals, and markets for U.S. goods," writes John Feffer for Foreign Policy in Focus on Wednesday. "Everyone wants a piece of Africa: drooling outsiders, corrupt insiders, cynical middle men."

"What we are seeing are that the rules of the game have long been stacked in the favor of one percent: multinational corporations and CEOs and the local elites who do their bidding," said Woods. "If there is business as usual, we will continue to have a situation where people on whose land resources lie will be pushed further and further to the brink, left without health care, housing, education, or any means of benefiting."

In an analysis published last year, the World Bank found that Africa's economic growth and foreign investment over the past decade have failed to benefit a majority of people living on the continent, and deep poverty and inequality are “unacceptably high and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.” The report predicts, "Almost one out of every two Africans lives in extreme poverty today," and by the year 2030, "a vast majority of the world's poor will be located in Africa."

Woods warned that that drive for investment from oil and gas extraction industries is especially dangerous for a continent that is already at the "epicenter of climate catastrophe." According to Woods, "Power Africa is very focused on accessing new sources of oil that have been discovered in and around the African continent without recognizing the long-term implications of continuing on a path of fossil fuels."

Woods emphasized that the push for U.S. investments, represented at the summit, takes place alongside the expansion of the U.S. military's AFRICOM, as well as weapons, across the country, furthering the destabilization and militarization of numerous communities. "Economic interests are bolstered by military power to reinforce the opportunity to fully extract resources," said Woods.

"What is needed now is a change to the status quo."

I guess we know how delighted Obama's big business and defense backers are feeling now.

Nah, we couldn't possibly think that large.

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At a local level, our farmers' market is doing really well (by doing good).

Here's what our local pig and duck man has to say about how they treat their animals.

Hey there Farms Community,

A lot of good things happened this week in the livestock world. We brought our first pig to market last week and will have a cooler full of pork tomorrow. She was a Guinea Hog/Ossabaw Island Cross. Both breeds are old American breeds that were developed in a time well before we started feeding livestock grain. This means that they grow well on forage alone. Most people doing "pastured pork" actually have a dry-lot where the pigs can run around but that has no available forage. While the dry-lot system is WAY better than the manure-lagooned, polluting factory pig houses (yuck!) the pigs in this kind of system still get almost 100% of their diet from imported grain feed. Our pigs live on fresh pasture year round and even in the winter months are expected to get the majority of their diet from forage. When forage is abundant they get almost no inputs at all. This is about as close to a grass-fed pig as you can find!! Like the rest of our animals our pigs are regularly on the move.

One set, the jailbirds, who have learned to break out of the fence live in a welded wire fence that is pulled to new pasture daily (the pig we recently brought to market was the ringleader of this bunch). The other set live in the woods inside two strands of electric wire. They move about once a week. The pastured pigs eat A LOT of grass and the woods pigs eat some green but mostly eat protein-rich roots that they find with their strong and sensitive snouts that effortlessly dig through the soil. They also take care of our poison ivy problem ;)  The rooting of pigs do amazing things in the woods. Turning over the leaf duff while looking for morsels of tastiness they uncover seeds that have long been blocked out by the sun. Behind the pigs, then, the otherwise dormant undergrowth starts to germinate and grow resulting in a rich, dynamic understory where there was once sterile leaf duff. By adding pigs to our woods we are not only "sustaining" our farm-land but actually enriching it! We believe that proper livestock management can improve ecosystems, revitalize worn out land, reverse desertification and make really yummy dinner. Pigs in the woods is just one example of this.

This week we will have all cuts available:  pork chops, ground pork, shoulders, tenderloins, etc. Because she was an old timey pig developed before grain and grown without grain, the cuts are accordingly small compared to what we have come to think as normal. However, the flavor of a truly pasture-raised pig will completely blow your mind. Come by this week and check it out!

See you at market this week.

Funniest moment yesterday (Colbert, of course!):

Stephen Colbert Lets Trump And Dr. Ben Carson Have It Over Ebola Fearmongering

"Don't worry, they're both urine!"

He's the best.

More food for thought this hot, humid summer weekend.

Smash the State, Eat the Rich

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