Yes, it's a long one, so be prepared with a tall cool drink.
You may need two.
Feeling rich yet?
And you thought it was okay to ignore the news on the MSM about how the economics measures were changed by those who, of course, only had your best interests at heart.
Again and again.
And who benefits from the very lucrative plan behind the changes?
According to official US economic data, the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded for 22 quarters, raising real GDP 12.1% above its high prior to the 2008-09 economic contraction. Yet, US manufacturing output and US industrial production have not recovered to their pre-contraction high._ _ _ _ _ _ _
So what is driving the real GDP growth? In my opinion, the rise in real GDP is an illusion produced by the under-measurement of inflation.
As I have reported on many occasions, John Williams of shadowstats.com has concluded that changes in the way that the government approaches the measurement of inflation has, in effect, defined inflation away.
Formerly, if a price of an item in an inflation measure rose, the inflation rate would rise by the price times the weight of the item in the index. Today, if a price of an item in an inflation measure rises, that item is removed from the index, and a lower cost item substituted in its place.
A second way that government has contrived in order to undermeasure inflation is to declare price rises “quality improvements” and not count the higher price as inflation.
Using these methods, an 8% rate of inflation can, for example, be reduced to a 2% inflation rate.
The low inflation rate is what produces the appearance of real GDP growth. As GDP is measured in prevailing prices, in order to know whether the GDP number is the result of an increase in the output of goods and services or merely the result of higher prices or inflation, the nominal GDP figure is deflated by the inflation measure.
For example, if nominal GDP rises 5% this year over last year, and the inflation rate is measured at 2%, real GDP has grown by 3%. However, if the 2% inflation rate is the contrived result described above, and inflation is really 5% or 8%, GDP growth was zero or declined by 3%.
The main reason that the government revamped its measurement of inflation is to save money by denying Social Security recipients cost-of-living-adjustments. During the many years that retirees have had no interest income on their retirement savings due to the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy in support of the balance sheets of the “banks too big to fail,” retirees have also been denied cost-of-living adjustments to their Social Security pensions.
In his latest report John Williams states:
“Decades of massaged reporting methodologies have distanced headline economic activity from common experience and underlying reality. When I started the Shadow Government Statistics newsletter in 2004, it reflected my formal experiences of assessing the quality and nature of headline economic reporting since the early 1980s, and of a broad recognition that Main Street U.S.A. had a good sense of underlying economic reality.To speak frankly, the picture of the economy that is presented to the public is a virtual reality contrived to take the place of the real reality. The economic recovery, the low inflation and unemployment rates are no more real than Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, and Russian invasion of Ukraine. As in the movie, "The Matrix" in which Americans live is the product of government’s ability to control the explanations.
“By 2004, underlying economic reality clearly was not reflected in the headline numbers issued by most statistical agencies of the federal government. Headline business conditions broadly were overstated, while inflation was understated. A heavily-positive public response accompanied the ShadowStats.com introduction, broadly confirming that common experience was not reflected meaningfully in the government’s headline data. Reporting quality and related circumstances have deteriorated since.”
As John Williams says, the government’s “GDP reporting is not close to being credible.” The Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production Index represents 61% of GDP and remains below its peak prior to the 2008-09 economic contraction. Yet the government says real GDP is 12.1% higher.
Try finding any discussion of this inconsistency in the financial media.
There have always been biases in the media, but the 21st century has seen the rise of fake news in order to advance agendas. For example, the neoconservative agenda of overthrowing seven countries in the Middle East in five years was served by the fake news about Saddam Hussein, Gadaffi, Assad, and Iran.
The military/security complex’s agenda of a New Cold War was served by the fake news of Russian invasion and threat to Europe.
President Trump’s intention of restoring normal relations with Russia was defeated by fake news of Russian interference in the presidential election and Trump’s alleged connections to Russian intelligence.
Practically the entire US population belived the obvious, transparent lies about Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran and perhaps most still do. Various polls show that a majority of Americans believe the obvious lies about the Russians, and many Amerians want Trump impeached for his non-existent “Russian connections.”
The print and TV media and much of the Internet media create the virtual reality that supports the agendas of the ruling elites, depriving the people of comprehension of factual reality. Websites, such as this one, which endeavor to provide truthful explanations, are dismissed as Russian dupes/agents, conspiracy theorists, kooks, and so forth.
Democracy cannot function when lies crowd out truth in the service of hidden agendas. Neither can life on earth. As terrible as the two 20th century World Wars were in the expenditure of life and destruction of cities, the weapons were puny compared to the thermo-nuclear weapons of today.
According to reports, just one Russian Satan II nuclear missile has sufficient destructive force to obliterate France or the state of Texas.
Russia, surrounded by 28 hostile NATO countries egged on by insane neoconservatives and crazed US generals, relies on nuclear weapons to protect its homeland. In recent years, various Russian officials have said that Russia will never again fight a war on its own territory. This should tell us something, but it hasn’t.
If you have a brain, ask yourself what this orchestrated conflict with Russia is about. Putin has said that he wants no conflict, that Russia threatens no one. But the Western presstitutes declare that Russia is a threat, and the generals who Trump has appointed to the highest positions in his new government say that “Russia is the principal threat to the US.” If you believe Putin, you are a Russian dupe or even a traitor. If you believe the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, you have signed up for Armageddon.
People without valid information cannot make valid decisions. No where in the West other than my website and a few others is there any valid information.
My readership with all the reposts and foreign translations is very large compared to, for example, the Washington Post or New York Times, but it is small compared to the totality of the Western media, all of which repeat the same lies. If my readers were organized, and believed Margaret Mead, they would suffice, but they are not organized. They are scattered all over the world.
The neoconservatives are organized. The military/security complex also is organized, and so are the bankers, Wall Street, and global corporations. For the military/security complex, the world is something to put at risk for their enormous “security” budget. For the bankers, Wall Street, and global corporations, the world is there to be plundered. The plunder has been exposed over and over. See for example, John Perkins, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," but the plunder continues via world organizations such as the IMF and World Bank, allegedly goody-goody Western institutions to “help the needy countries.”
Seldom in history have the people had a voice. Those who try to give people a voice are portrayed negatively by the ruling elites. Thomas Paine’s "Common Sense" is the founding document of the American Revolution. His book, "Rights of Man," sold 500,000 copies, making it the best-selling book of the 18th century. In Britain his reward was to be charged with sedition by the government and declared an outlaw. In the US, Federalist newspapers in Boston portrayed him as a drunkard and infidel. There is no monument to him in Washington, D.C. As Lewis Lapham has written, “Paine’s plain and forthright speaking is out of tune with our own contemporary political discourse, which for the most part is the gift for saying nothing.” Or for flumuxing you with false news.
The voice here at this website, my voice, provides perspectives that permit escape from the Matrix, but it depends on your support. As March is upon us, so is my quarterly request for your support. So far, we have both kept our word. You have supported the site, and I have continued to ruin my reputation in Washington by writing explanations that are unpopular in the ruling circles.
The “deep state” is jargon for the semi-hidden army of bureaucrats, officials, retired officials, legislators, contractors and media people who support and defend established government policies.
Those “deep state” officials include the intelligence, law-enforcement and national security officials who worked in President Barack Obama’s administration but who are still working in permanent or temporary positions in the White House and in surrounding agencies. Many of those officials are believed to be leaking information from within the White House to allies in the anti-Trump media, including Kristol._ _ _ _ _ _ _
To make matters even more personally offensive (and unbelievable), click on the link below:
The Anti-Flynn ‘Deep State’ Coup – Spelling It Out In the Clearest Way Possible_ _ _ _ _ _ _
FLYNN IS ALSO A DOMINO. Okay, this is crucial, pay attention now. Putin has often been criticized for protecting his friends even when these friends are guilty of wrongdoings. Now let me ask you a simple question: would you rather stick your neck out for Trump or for Putin? Exactly. If Trump was a loyal kind of person he could have called Pence and Flynn to the Oval Office, told Flynn to apologize and told Pence to shut up. But he did nothing of the kind. By accepting Flynn’s “resignation” Trump showed that he does not protect those who fight for him. There will definitely be a domino-effect now as everybody who matters has now understood: Trump is weak, the Neocons got him by the balls, and Trump will leave you hanging when the shit hits the fan.
Former National Security Agency (NSA) spy John Schindler tweeted on Twitter that a senior intelligence community colleague sent him an email stating that the deep state had declared nuclear war on Trump and that “He will die in jail.”
It is possible that this will be the case.
At the end of World War II, the military/security complex decided that the flow of profits and power from war and threats of war were too great to be relinquished to an era of peace. This complex manipulated a weak and inexperienced President Truman into a gratuitous Cold War with the Soviet Union. The lie was created, and accepted by the gullible American people, that International Communism intended world conquest. This lie was transparant, because Stalin had purged and murdered Leon Trotsky and all communists who believed in world revolution. . . .
Academic experts, knowing where their bread was buttered, went along with and contributed to the deceit. By 1961 the overarching power of the military/security complex was apparent to President Eisenhower, a five-star general in charge of the US invasion of German occupied Western Europe during the Second World War. The private power that the military/security complex (Eisenhower called it the military-industrial complex) exercised disturbed Ike so much that in his last address to the American people he said we must guard against its subversion of democracy:
“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment.Eisenhower’s warning was to the point. However, it relied on “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry,” which the US does not have. The American population is largely insoucient, and is heading, across the ideological spectrum from left to right, to self-destruction.
We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
The print and TV media, which serve as propagandists for the ruling military/security complex and Wall Street elites, make certain that Americans have nothing but bogus orchestrated information. Every household and person who turns on TV or reads a newspaper is programed to live in a false orchestrated reality that serves the tiny few who comprise the ruling Establishment.
Trump challenged this Establishment without realizing that it is more powerful than a mere President of the United States.
This is what has happened: During Obama’s second term, Russia and its president were demonized by the military/security complex and the neoconservatives using the presstitute media. The demonization has facilitated the ability of the controlled presstitute media, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest, to associate contact with Russia and articles questioning the orchestrated tensions between the US and Russia with suspicious activity, possibly even treason. Trump and his advisors were too inexperienced to realize that the consequence of Flynn’s dismissal was to validate this orchestrated association of the Trump presidency with Russian intelligence.
Now we have the media whores and the political whores asking the question used to blacken President Nixon and to force his resignation: “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Did Trump know that Gen. Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador weeks before Trump said he did? Did Flynn do the unspeakable — speak to a Russian — because Trump told him to do so?
The purveyors of fake news — the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the despicable liars are using irresponsible innuendo to entangle President Trump in a web of treason. Here is the New York Times headline: “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.” What we are witnessing is a campaign by the deep state using their media whores to set up Trump for impeachment.
Those at work overturning the 2016 presidential election are so confident of their success that they publicly declare their preference for coup over democracy. The zionist neoconservative warmonger Bill Kristol has expressed his preference for a deep state coup over democratically elected President Trump. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/15/bill-kristol-backs-deep-state-president-trump-republican-government/
The liberal/progressive/left has aligned with the One Percent against the “racist, misogynist, homophobic” working class — the “Trump deplorables” — who elected Trump.
Even the uninformed muscian, Moby, felt compelled to post ignorant nonsense on Facebook:
“1-the russian dossier on trump is real. 100% real. he’s being blackmailed by the russian government, not just for being peed on by russian hookers, but for much more nefarious things.Now that Trump has been tainted with “associations with Russian intelligence,” the idiot Republicans, according to Bloomberg, have “joined calls by Democrats for a deeper look at contacts between President Donald Trump’s team and Russian intelligence agents Wednesday [Feb. 15], indicating a growing sense of political peril within the party as new reports surfaced of extensive contacts between the two.” https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-14/flynn-s-ouster-sparks-new-gop-calls-for-wider-russia-probe?cmpid=BBD021517_BIZ
2-the trump administration is in collusion with the russian government, and has been since day one.” https://www.facebook.com/mobymusic/photos/a.126687636107.103603.6028461107/10155085110276108/?type=3&theater
Of course, there is no evidence of such contacts, but facts are not part of the campaign to depose Trump.
Trump’s sacking of Flynn is being used as vindication by his opponents of their false charges that the President of the United States is compromised by Russian intelligence. Realizing the mistake, the White House has tried to counter its blunder by saying that Flynn was dismissed because Trump lost confidence in him, not because he did anything illegal or had connections to Russian intelligence. But none of Trump’s opponents are listening. And the CIA keeps feeding fake news to the presstitutes.
From the very beginning I warned that Trump lacked the experience and the knowledge to pick a government that would stand by him and serve his agenda. Trump has now fired the one person on whom he could have counted. The most obvious conclusion is that Trump is dead meat.
The effort of the American people to bring government back under their control via Trump has been defeated by the deep state.
Chris Hedges argument that revolution is the only way that Americans can reclaim their country continues to gain credibility.
If this doesn't disturb you existentially enough already . . .
I feel obligated to report on a breaking story. ENENews reports that a number of European countries are seeing elevated iodine-131 levels. So, we're looking for a fairly massive release of a short-lived radioactive isotope, of a kind commonly found in nuclear power plants.
Other radioactive isotopes may also have been released, but most radiation detectors are geared for Iodine-131 because it's so common. Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days, meaning that most of it will be gone in a month, but other, longer-lived . It can be flushed out of a human body by taking non-radioactive iodine pills. Otherwise it concentrates in the human pituitary gland and can cause nodules or carcinogenic tumors to grow there.
I want to connect a few dots. On February 9 there was an explosion and a fire at a nuclear power plant in Flamanville, in northern France. The plant's operator reported that....
Now, wait a minute. Worldwide, the nuclear power plant's operator perpetually reports that everything is just fine, hunky dory, move along now, nothing to see here, even when there has been a meltdown.
I need to pass on another news report that of the five workers that were injured at the Flamanville explosion, they appeared to be drunk. I leave open the possibility that all five of them were drinking like fishes on the job, these things can happen at nuclear power plants, but I also want to consider the more likely possibility that all five of them were pretty well cooked by gamma rays an hour before a reporter saw them, that they were hospitalized because they were suffering from radiation sickness, that most of their internal energy was going into repairing internal cellular damage, or alternatively that all five of them might have been a few neurons short of a full deck at the time._______
Feeling a little wobbly yet?
Er, how about after reading the essay below?
The DeVos/Prince Blackwaters always win?
Erik Prince — founder of the private military company Blackwater, financial backer of President Donald Trump, brother to the new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and frequent Breitbart radio guest of White House power broker Stephen Bannon — has been offering his military expertise to support Chinese government objectives and setting up two Blackwater-style training camps in China, according to sources and his own company statements.
“He’s been working very, very hard to get China to buy into a new Blackwater,” said one former associate. “He’s hell bent on reclaiming his position as the world’s preeminent private military provider.”_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Could this possibly be why Dennis was hired by Fox News?
During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria, former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said the intelligence community was responsible for leaking information that Trump’s national security advisor, Mike Flynn, had secretly discussed sanctions with Russian officials before the inauguration and argued their goal was to spoil the relationship between the U.S. and Russia.
“What’s at the core of this is an effort by some in the intelligence community to upend any positive relationship between the U.S. and Russia,” Kucinich said.And in his opinion, there is a big money motive behind it.“And I tell you there's a marching band and Chowder Society out there. There's gold in them there hills,” he said. “There are people trying to separate the U.S. and Russia so that this military industrial intel axis can cash in.”_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Exclusive: President Trump’s acceptance of National Security Advisor Flynn’s resignation marks Official Washington’s first big success in neutering Trump and killing hopes for a détente with Russia, reports Robert Parry.
The neocon-dominated U.S. foreign policy establishment won an important victory in forcing the resignation of President Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn over a flimsy complaint that he had talked to the Russian ambassador during the transition.
The Washington Post, the neoconservatives’ media flagship, led the assault on Flynn, an unorthodox thinker who shared the neocons’ hostility toward Iran but broke with them in seeing no strategic reason to transform Russia into an implacable enemy.
After Flynn’s resignation on Monday evening, the Post gloated over its success in achieving the first major crack in Trump’s resistance to Official Washington’s establishment. The Post cited Flynn’s “potentially illegal contacts” with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a reference to the Logan Act, a 1799 never-enforced law that forbids private citizens from negotiating with a country in dispute with the U.S. government.
Though no one has ever been prosecuted under the Logan Act, it has been cited in recent decades as an excuse to attack American citizens who disagree with U.S. government policies while traveling abroad and having contacts with foreign leaders.
Often those accusations are aimed at Americans seeking to peacefully resolve disputes when a U.S. president is eager to escalate a conflict, such as President Ronald Reagan’s denunciations of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson for visiting Cuba and House Speaker Jim Wright for exploring ways to end the Contra war in Nicaragua.
In other words, the Logan Act is usually exploited in a McCarthyistic fashion to bait or discredit peace advocates, similarly to how it has now been used to destroy Flynn for daring to look for ways to reduce the dangerous tensions between Washington and Moscow.
But the media-driven attacks on Flynn are particularly curious since he was the National Security Advisor-designate of an incoming administration at the time of the calls and – as such – he would be expected to make contacts with important foreign officials to begin laying the groundwork for relations with the new president.
Whether U.S. sanctions against Russia were mentioned or not, the notion that an elected president or his designees – during a transition – can have no meaningful contact with diplomats whom they may need to deal with in a matter of weeks represents a particularly contentious interpretation of a law that has never been tested in a court of law and may well represent an unconstitutional infringement on free speech and dissent.
An Expanding Hysteria
Indeed, referencing the Logan Act appears to be an excuse to continue – and expand – Official Washington’s hysteria over Russia, which has become the useful villain to blame for every U.S. foreign policy debacle and even Hillary Clinton’s disastrous presidential run.
Flynn’s more egregious offense in this case may have been to mislead Vice President Mike Pence on exactly what was discussed, but Trump’s White House has not seemed previously overly concerned with the precise accuracy of its statements.
Indeed, Trump and his team have tangled themselves up for weeks by promoting “alternative facts” — that Donald Trump’s inaugural crowd was bigger than Barack Obama’s and that Trump would have won the popular vote if not for three million to five million illegal votes. Though these absurd claims pertain more to Trump’s ego than to anything important, he and his representatives have continued fighting these fights on Twitter and TV appearances and show no signs of stopping.
So, the ouster of Flynn for failing to provide a complete readout on some telephone conversations in December stands out as even more significant in the context of the deluge of falsehoods that have poured forth from Trump’s White House.
Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it.
Though Flynn has pandered to elements of the neocon movement with his own hysterical denunciations of Iran and Islam in general, he emerged as a key architect for Trump’s plans to seek a constructive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, the neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks have invested heavily in making Putin the all-purpose bête noire to justify a major investment in new military hardware and in pricy propaganda operations.
The neocons and liberal hawks also hated Flynn because – as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency – he oversaw a prescient 2012 analysis that foresaw that their support for the Syrian insurgency would give rise to “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria."
The DIA report, which was partially declassified in a lawsuit over the 2012 killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, embarrassed the advocates for an escalation of the war in Syria and the ouster of secular President Bashar al-Assad.
Flynn even went further in a 2015 interview when he said the intelligence was “very clear” that the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to back these jihadists in league with Middle East allies, a choice that looked particularly stupid when Islamic State militants started beheading American hostages and capturing cities in Iraq.
A Beloved ‘Regime Change’
But “regime change” in Syria was dear to the neocons’ hearts. After all, Israeli leaders had declared Assad’s removal central to smashing the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Tehran through Damascus to Beirut.
The neocons and liberal hawks had come very close to getting the direct U.S. military intervention that they so wanted to destroy Assad’s army after a mysterious sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013.
The Obama administration quickly pinned the atrocity on Assad even though a number of U.S. intelligence analysts suspected a “false flag” attack carried out by jihadists.
Still, despite those doubts, it appeared a bombing campaign against Assad was in the offing, except that Obama delayed its implementation and Putin then proposed an alternative in which Assad would surrender all his chemical weapons.
Putin’s interference in the neocon/liberal-hawk war plans made him the new prime target – and Ukraine became ground zero for the effort to explode the cooperative relationship between Obama and Putin.
On Sept. 26, 2013, only weeks after the aborted U.S. bombing campaign against Syria, Carl Gershman, the neocon president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the Post’s op-ed page to declare “Ukraine the biggest prize” and suggest that winning it could ultimately lead to toppling Putin inside Russia.
Key U.S. government neocons, such as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain, then began pushing for the violent right-wing coup that – in February 2014 – ousted Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych and touched off the new Cold War with Russia.
Amid these heightened tensions, the mainstream media in the United States and Europe joined in the full-scale Russia/Putin-bashing.
All rational perspective on the underlying reality was lost, except for a handful of independent Internet journalists and foreign-policy outsiders who rejected the over-the-top propaganda.
A Few Dissenters Too Many
But even a few dissenters were a few dissenters too many. So, to enforce the new groupthink – holding Russia at fault for pretty much everything – a new McCarthyism emerged, deeming anyone who dared disagree a “Moscow stooge” or a “Russian propagandist.”
The ugliness penetrated into the U.S. presidential campaign because Democrat Hillary Clinton took a belligerent line toward Russia while Trump broke with the Republican establishment and called for improved ties between Washington and Moscow.
Clinton called Trump Putin’s “puppet” and – after Clinton’s stunning loss – the Obama administration floated unproven allegations that Putin had intervened in the election to put Trump in the White House.
This hysteria over Russia gained added strength because Democrats were so angry over Trump’s election that liberal and progressive operatives saw a chance to build a movement and raise lots of money by pushing the Trump-Putin accusations.
This opportunism has turned much of the liberal/progressive community into a pro-New Cold War constituency willing to engage in a new breed of McCarthyism by demanding intensive investigations into alleged connections between Americans and Russians.
From the neocon side, The Washington Post has gone so far as to promote baseless accusations from an anonymous group called PropOrNot that 200 Internet sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other important independent news sources, are guilty of spreading Russian propaganda.
Congress approved a new $160 million bureaucracy to combat such “propaganda.”
However, since Trump’s inauguration, the focus has shifted to Flynn, as the personification of the effort to cool off the New Cold War, because he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador that presumably were intercepted by U.S. intelligence.
Because Flynn supposedly misrepresented some details of the calls to Vice President Mike Pence, senior Justice Department holdovers from the Obama administration concocted an argument that Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
The argument is dubious because the Russians would know that the U.S. government knew exactly what the conversations entailed, so how would the blackmail work? But this “blackmail” argument is another throwback to the earlier McCarthy days when gays were barred from sensitive government jobs because of their alleged susceptibility to blackmail.
But the gambit to get Flynn worked. Amid frenzied coverage on CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media, Flynn and the Russia détente that he stood for were not expected to be long for this world of Official Washington.
Flynn’s resignation and its acceptance by Trump also prove that these tactics work and that “tough-guy” Trump is not immune to them. While the President may battle to the end over pointless questions about the size of his inaugural crowd and his belief that he should have won the popular vote, he will cave when the pressure builds on a matter of genuine substance and real importance to the future of the world.
The so-called permanent government of Washington and its complicit mainstream media – what some call the Deep State – have taught Trump a lesson and have learned a lesson, too. They now can be expected to redouble their march toward war and more war, ironically with progressives and leftists in tow.
(Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, "America’s Stolen Narrative," either in print or as an e-book (from barnesandnoble.com).)
I no longer understand what "leftist" or "progressive" could possibly mean.
But I do remember appreciating the humanity of Eisenhower's time in office.
Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government.
And try not to forget about it.
As to the Flynn flossing:
Gen. Flynn was a fanatical anti-Islamic wing nut. He was, to use Trumpese, a bigly terrible choice. I’m glad he is gone. But Flynn’s sin was being loopy, not talking on the phone to the Russian ambassador. The White House and national intelligence should be talking every day to Moscow, even ‘Hi Boris, what’s new with you guys? ‘Nothing much new here either besides the terrible traffic.’
The current hue and cry in the US over Flynn’s supposed infraction is entirely a fake political ambush to cripple the Trump administration. Trump caved in much too fast. The deep state is after his scalp: he has threatened to cut the $80 billion per annum intelligence budget – which alone, boys and girls, is larger than Russia’s entire defense budget! He’s talking about rooting waste out of the Pentagon’s almost trillion-dollar budget, spending less on NATO, and ending some of America’s imperial wars abroad.
What’s to like about Trump if you’re a member of the war party and military-industrial-intelligence-Wall Street complex? The complex wants its golden girl Hilary Clinton in charge. She unleashed the current tsunami of anti-Russian hysteria and demonization of Vladimir Putin which shows, sadly, that many Americans have not grown beyond the days of Joe McCarthy.
As a long-time student of Cold War intelligence, my conclusion is that both sides knew pretty much what the other was up to, though KGB and GRU were more professional and skilled than western special services. It would be so much easier and cheaper just to share information on a demand basis. But that would stop the Great Game.
It’s sickening watching the arrant hypocrisy and windbaggery in Washington over alleged Russian espionage and manipulation. The US has been buying and manipulating foreign governments since 1945. We even tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. This week Wikileaks issued an intercept on CIA spying and manipulation of France’s 2012 election. We live in a giant glass house.
The Russians are not our pals. Nor are they the evil empire. We have to normalize our thinking about Russia, grow up and stop using Moscow as a political bogeyman to fight our own internal political battles.
Right now, I’m more worried about the far right crazies in the Trump White House than I am about the Ruskis and Vlad the Bad.
Did someone mention that Jim Hightower might have something relevant to consider?
He always does.
. . . The Donald delivers!_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Trump and his new blue-ribbon panel of working-class champions have announced a bold initiative to create millions of American jobs. A spokesman for the panel, Steve Schwarzman, praised Trump as a leader who wants to “do things a lot better in our country, for all Americans.”
Wait a minute… Steve Schwarzman? Isn’t he a billionaire hedge-fund huckster on Wall Street? Yes – and Holy Money Bags! – there’s Jamie Dimon, head of scandal-ridden JPMorgan Chase. Working-class champions? Trump’s whole “jobs” panel is made up of Wall Street banksters and corporate powers like Walmart that’re notorious for laying-off and ripping-off workers.
Trump-the-candidate fulminated against such moneyed elites, calling them “responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class.” But now, in a spectacular flipflop, he’s brought these robbers directly inside his presidency, asking them to be architects of his economic strategy. Worse, he’s doing this in the name of helping workers.
Hello – to develop policies beneficial to working stiffs, bring in some working stiffs! But not a single labor advocate is on his policy council, in his cabinet, or anywhere near his White House.
Thus, the so-called “job-creation plan” announced by Trump and his corporate cohorts doesn’t create any jobs, but calls instead for – Ta Dah! – deregulating Wall Street. These flimflammers actually want us rubes to believe that “freeing” banksters to return to casino-style speculation and consumer scams will give them more money that they “can” invest in American jobs.
Do they think we have sucker wrappers around our heads? Trump’s scheme will let banks make a killing, but it doesn’t require them to invest in jobs – so they won’t. There’s a name for this: Fraud.
This is clearly nuts, and yet, in misinfo history, it works. Keeps them on their toes.
The origin of Wikileaks?
Sarah Moore alleges that Sandoz, part of the old I.G. Farben complex, provided the cult with free LSD._ _ _ _ _ _ _
Sandoz bought the family business of 'Swiss Nazi financier' Carl Lundstrom.
One of Lundstrom's endeavors is Pirate Bay which hosts WIKILEAKS, in Sweden.
Wikileaks would appear to be partly the work of the CIA and its Mossad friends?
Israel would like the world to know that it is not just the Israeli military that sometimes murders kids.
Brits and Iraqis do it too, according to Wikileaks.
And the CIA and Mossad want us to believe some rubbish in Wikileaks about the Iranians.
Only Israel "has the penetration of the Department of Defense that would allow this kind of spying."
(LAMEST WIKILEAK SO FAR … IS ISRAEL BEHIND IT?)
"The fact that the supposedly damaging leaks are in fact bolstering American accusations against Iran while minimizing American complicity in Iraqi deaths leads some to believe that the leaks are in fact engineered by the Pentagon to either discredit Wikileaks, or are in conjunction with Wikileaks which is a U.S. government outfit."
I always try to show "Dr. Strangelove" to my college classes so that they understand the quality of leadership/thinking found among those who run the war efforts at the top levels of the USA! USA! USA!
I used to tell them that I was only being metaphorical afterwards.
Historian Margot Henriksen, author of 'Dr. Strangelove’s America,' describes the movie as a kind of expose – a frontal assault on “the cherished seriousness and rationality of America’s nuclear ethos and establishment." Strangelove showed the previously disguised cold war reality for what it was: immoral, insane, deadly – and ridiculous. Distinguished critic Lewis Mumford defended the film’s blackly humorous take on nuclear holocaust as an example of deadpan Swiftian wit: “It is not this film that is sick: What is sick is our supposedly moral, democratic country which allowed this policy to be formulated and implemented without even the pretense of public debate.”
Strangelove’s literary antecedents go back even further, to the Old Comedy of Aristophanes– the comedy of Periclean Athens, which was ribald and irreverent and deeply political. It’s a theater of living, participatory democracy, of a citizenry involved in every matter of state. Also, it’s a comedy grounded in the body and nature, as for instance in Lysistrata, in which the women of Athens bring the bloody and stupid Peloponnesian War to an end through a brilliantly organized sex strike, or in other plays, where the chorus of frogs or wasps or birds comments on human affairs from an ironic inter-species distance. The film’s insistent “strange love” sexual subtext places it firmly in the Aristophanic tradition.
The characters in Strangelove embody social hierarchies; they are flattened, if highly compelling, and command a very different kind of response than does the typical Hollywood character – a critical reaction, rather than an emotional identification. It is similar to what Bertolt Brecht describes as the alienation effect, forcing the viewer to see characters in terms of what they represent, coloring the subjective perception of objective reality, and creating the psychological conditions for both detachment and enlightened re-engagement.
Historically, 1963 was a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis and a couple of years after the Berlin Wall crisis. It was the last moment that some Pentagon brass and nuclear strategists believed that the USA would have a significantly superior strategic position vis-à-vis the Soviets, allowing the possibility of a first strike. President Kennedy was surrounded by such thinking. From the book "JFK and the Unspeakable," by James Douglass, regarding events in 1961: “His military advisors continued to ride hard toward the apocalypse. Kennedy was appalled by Generals Lemnitzer and LeMay’s insistence at two summer meetings that they wanted his authorization to use nuclear weapons in both Berlin and Southeast Asia. His response was to walk out of the meetings. After one such walkout, he threw his hands in the air, glanced back at the generals and admirals left in the Cabinet Room, and said, ‘These people are crazy.’”
Only one month after the terrifying Cuban Missile crisis, the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested a buildup of strategic forces to the level of a disarming first-strike capability. On November 20, 1962, they sent a memorandum to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stating, “The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that a first-strike capability is both feasible and desirable.” Their studies showed that a first strike would kill at least 140 million Russians – but that American casualties could be kept down to a “manageable” 10 or 12 million. This is almost exactly what General Turgidson says in the movie. (“Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say, no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh… depending on the breaks.”) In September 1963, Air Force General Leon Johnson said to Kennedy, “I have concluded from the calculations that we could fight a limited war using nuclear weapons without fear that the Soviets would reply by going to all-out war.”
Kennedy understood the real but unstated objective. Knowing that the Pentagon was gaming him, he responded, “I have been told that if I ever released a nuclear weapon on the battlefield, I should start a pre-emptive attack on the Soviet Union, as the use of nuclear weapons was bound to escalate and we might as well get the advantage by going first.” Again, it’s precisely the gambit attempted by General Turgidson in the War Room regarding the “unpublished study” about the correct (i.e., murderous) response to a nuclear “accident” – a study apparently not shared with the president.
Kubrick’s mind was legendarily omnivorous and retentive. He subscribed to the "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" and had read just about every book ever written on deterrence and thermonuclear war. His imagination is so rooted in hard fact that he could intuit what was taking place behind closed doors. Lyman Lemnitzer, Curtis LeMay, Edwin Walker, Herman Kahn, Henry Kissinger, so many others – like Kennedy, Kubrick realized it was a cast of maniacs that kept the nuclear show going. Kubrick and co-screenwriter Terry Southern encapsulate that insanity in the characters of Ripper, Turgidson and Strangelove – an alliance of the psychotic, the narcissistic and the psychopathic, each bizarre in his own way, but all ultimately collaborating in a genocidal groupthink.
Good satire goes directly for the insoluble contradictions, and Kubrick hits so many of them – for instance:
* Only those with a superhumanly developed self-restraint and sanity could be trusted to be in control of nuclear weapons – but only a madman could create and support the logic of mutual assured destruction and its associated concepts of “overkill” and “megadeath.”
* Also: The effectiveness of nuclear deterrence depends on a hair-trigger response to attack – so a system ostensibly intended for preventing war is constantly provoking fear, creating a spiral of suspicion in which defense and aggression become indistinguishable.
* Also: To deter, the system must be rigid and flexible at the same time, robotic and humanly controllable. An engineer will tell you that any system designed around fundamentally opposed qualities is an accident waiting to happen. It is a doomsday machine, an idiot system of world-destroying power. * Also: While the rhetoric is that of war avoidance - “Peace is our profession” – the underlying mentality is that of total victory over an evil enemy. So “accidents” are programmed in, as the pretext for a first strike with “acceptable” American losses. But the extent to which the possibility of a first strike is countenanced gives the lie to any ethical superiority over the other side. The system is morally bankrupt.
* And finally: The bomb supposedly exists to protect freedom and democracy, but at moments of crisis (which in a balance of terror means every moment), we see how the system actually functions – as the ultimate expression of elitism, accepting the very real possibility of human annihilation as the cost of dominance and control. It is the apotheosis of what C. Wright Mills, writing a bit earlier, described as “crackpot realism,” the thought process of a paranoiac. The system is politically self-deconstructing, reducing itself to rubble here before our eyes, in 90 real-time minutes.
All of these contradictions are embodied in the character of Dr. Strangelove, the crippled, fragmented machine-man who hovers like a dark angel in the corner of the War Room and our consciousness. He is the ultimate accomplishment of the film: a rich and open-ended symbol – a key to understanding both an aspect of human nature and a specific moment in time. He has become a permanent part of our culture, graphically revealing the surreal, fascistic energy that permeates the inner workings of the military-industrial complex.
In the end, Strangelove walks – he regains his potency – because this Nazi technocrat has finally become the voice of authority in the putative democracy that helped defeat his first Fuhrer. He no longer needs to conceal his nature and desires. These boil down to a sadomasochistic scenario of female sexual slavery, in which the sickest members of the military-industrial patriarchy are given exclusive right to the most nubile women. It is a eugenics-inspired rape fantasy, out-Hitlering Hitler. And the gathered War Room crowd salivates over the prospect.
We realize that the narrative arc of the movie is that of coitus interruptus, which begins with Turgidson’s painfully suspended tryst with his secretary and is consummated with the final orgasm of destruction. At last, with the end of the world, the sexual suspense is broken and we can breathe; the relief is palpable. The only kind of sexual satisfaction that can exist within the mechanized and disembodied world portrayed in the film involves violence and the projection of power, which compensates for the inner emptiness and lack of feeling in a militarist wasteland.o
This is the crux of Kubrick’s and Southern’s irony in Dr. Strangelove: that the higher the stakes, the greater the megatons and megadeaths wielded by these nuclear warriors, the more diminished and enfeebled and grotesque they become. A system that grants godlike powers simultaneously denies real humanity. In the end, loving the bomb means losing the soul.
Strangelove reveals the nuclear standoff as more than a political problem – it is also a symptom of self-alienation, of an imbalance between life and death, Eros and Thanatos. Underneath the antic surface – for instance, in the close-ups of General Ripper’s lined face and haunted eyes – there’s a tragic half-awareness of something terribly wrong. Something that may have to do with communists or fluoride or precious bodily fluids, or maybe something deeper that we no longer have the spiritual or emotional capability to understand or confront. The film is an attempt to regain that capability by seeing the situation as a whole, from a comically human perspective. The belly laughs that the movie elicits come from our core and bring us back into our full, social selves, away from the isolated, phobic, hyper-rationalized world of General Ripper and his compatriots.
Dr. Strangelove offers no solutions to the nuclear quandary. It just shows us where the logic of the system points, in terms of both origins and outcomes. By casting the nightmarish absurdity of the system in a comical light, he strips it of its metaphysical terror. Once we have seen Dr. Strangelove – the ghost in the war-making machine– as he is, we can begin the process of freeing ourselves from him."
Doesn't the mad excitement of the war crowd remind you of Hillary gleefully claiming credit for the murder of Saddam Hussein? At that time I thought she was giving this movie props.
Thanks to CP and Counterpunch for their pursuit of responsible reporting and true journalism.
Max and Stacy report on the continuing financial rape by Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banksters:
Lee provides deep insight while camping it up.
So to speak.
(And Tom Pro-TPP Perez was elected to run the New New New Dems!)
The Deep State pours the concrete foundations.