25/06/2017

The "Soft Coup" Under Way In Washington By David Stockman

This article was first published by Contra Corner 

Bull’s eye! “They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice … You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!”

The Donald has never spoken truer words but also has never sunken lower into abject victimhood. Indeed, what is he waiting for­– handcuffs and a perp walk?

Just to be clear, “he” doesn’t need to be the passive object of a “WITCH HUNT” by “they”.

If Donald Trump had any kind of presidential strategy and propensity to take command, he would have had all the intercepts of Russian chatter gathered up weeks ago. He would then have had them declassified and made public, even as he launched a criminal prosecution against Obama’s hit squad­-John Brennan, Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett for illegally unmasking and leaking classified information.

Such a course of action would have crushed the Russian interference hysteria in the bud.

At bottom, the latter was a rearguard invention of the Deep State and Democratic partisans. They became literally shocked and desperate for a scapegoat early last fall by the prospect that the unthinkable was happening.

Namely, the election by the unwashed masses of an outsider and insurrectionist who could not be counted upon to serve as a “trusty” for the status quo; and whose na├»ve but correct instinct to seek a rapprochement with Russia was a mortal threat to the very modus operandi of the Imperial City.

Moreover, from the very beginning, the Russian interference narrative was rooted in nothing more than standard cyber noise from Moscow that pales compared to what comes out of Langley (CIA) and Ft. Meade (NSA). And we do mean irrelevant noise.

After all, it didn’t take a Kremlinologist from the old Soviet days to figure out that Putin did not favor Clinton, who had likened him to Hitler. And that he welcomed Trump, who had correctly said NATO was obsolete, that he didn’t want to give lethal aid to the Ukrainians, and had expressed a desire to make a deal with Putin on Syria and numerous other areas of unnecessary confrontation.

So let’s start with two obvious points. Namely, that there is no “there, there” and that the president not only has the power to declassify secret documents at will but in this instance could do so without compromising intelligence community (IC) “sources and methods” in the slightest.

The latter is the case because after Snowden’s revelations in June 2013, the whole world was put on notice and most especially Washington’s adversaries­–that it collects in raw form every single electronic digit that passes through the worldwide web and related communications grids. It boils down to universal and omniscient SIGINT (signals intelligence), and acknowledgment of that fact by publishing the Russia-Trump intercepts would provide new knowledge to exactly no one.

Nor would it jeopardize the lives of any American spy or agent (HUMINT); it would just document the unconstitutional interference in the election process that had been committed by the US intelligence agencies and political operatives in the Obama White House.

Yes, we can hear the boxes on the CNN screen harrumphing and spinning noisily that declassifying the “evidence” would amount to obstruction of justice! That is to say, since Trump’s “crime” is axiomatic (i.e. his occupancy of the Oval Office), anything that gets in the way of his conviction and removal therefrom amounts to “obstruction”.

Given that he is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/ mainstream media prosecution, the Donald has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive of the type described above.

But that’s not happening because the man is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.

That became more than evident­-and more than pathetic, too­-when earlier this morning he tweeted out an attack on his own Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. At least Nixon fired Elliot Richardson (his Attorney General) and Bill Ruckelshaus (Deputy AG):

“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt”

So alone with his Twitter account, clueless advisors and pulsating rage, the Donald is instead laying the groundwork for his own demise. Were this not the White House, it would normally be the point at which they send in the men in white coats with a straight jacket.

Indeed, that’s essentially what Donald’s ostensible GOP allies on the Hill are actually doing. RussiaGate is self-evidently a witch-hunt like few others in American political history. Yet as the mainstream cameras and microphones were thrust at one Congressional Republican after another yesterday afternoon following Donald’s outburst quoted above, there was nary an echo of the agreement.

Even Senator John Thune, an ostensible Swamp-hating conservative, had nothing but praise for Special Counsel Robert Mueller while affecting an earnest confidence that he would fairly and thoroughly get to the bottom of the matter.
No he won’t!

Mueller is a card-carrying apparatchik of the Deep State, who was there at the founding of today’s surveillance monster as Director of the FBI in the aftermath of 9/11. Since the whole $75 billion apparatus that eventually emerged was based on a vastly exaggerated threat of global Islamic terrorism that doesn’t exist, Russia had to be demonized into order to keep the game going­-a transition that Mueller fully subscribed to.

So he will “find” extensive Russian interference in the 2016 election and bring the hammer down on the Donald for seeking to prevent it from coming to light. The clock is now ticking and his investigatory team is being loaded up with prosecutorial killers who have proven records of thuggery when it comes to finding crimes that make for the fame and fortune of the prosecutors­-even if the crime itself never happened.

To wit, Mueller’s #1 hire was the despicable Andrew Weissmann. The latter had led the fraud section of the department’s Criminal Division, served as general counsel to the F.B.I. when Mueller was its director, and, more importantly, was the driving force behind the Enron task force the most egregious exercise in prosecutorial abuse and thuggery since the Palmer raids of 1919.

Meanwhile, as we said the other day, the GOP elders especially could also not be clearer about what is coming down the pike.
They are not defending Trump with even a modicum of the vigor and resolve that we recall from the early days of Tricky Dick’s ordeal, and, of course, he didn’t survive anyway. Instead, it’s as if Ryan, McConnell, et al. have offered to hold his coat, while the Donald pummels himself with a 140-character Twitter Knife that is visible to the entire world.

So there should be no doubt. A Great Big Coup is on the way. But here’s the irony of the matter.

Exactly four years ago in June 2013, no one was seriously demonizing Putin or Russia. In fact, the slicksters of CNN were still snickering about Mitt Romney’s silly claim during the 2012 election campaign that Russia was the greatest security threat facing America.

But then came the Syrian jihadist false flag chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013 and the US intelligence community’s flagrant lie that it had proof the villain was Bashar Assad.

To the contrary, it subsequently became evident that the primitive rockets that had carried the deadly sarin gas, which killed upwards of 1500 innocent civilians, could not have been fired from regime-held territory; the rockets examined by UN investigators had a range of only a few kilometers, not the 15-20 kilometers from the nearest Syrian base.

In any event, President Obama choose to ignore his own red line and called off the bombers. That, in turn, paved the way for Vladimir Putin to step into the breach and persuade Assad to give up all of his chemical weapons commitment he fully complied with over the course of the next year.

Needless to say, in the eyes of the neocon War Party, this constructive act of international statesmanship by Putin was the unforgivable sin. It thwarted the next target on their regime change agenda­-removal of the Assad government in Syria as a step toward an ultimate attack on its ally, the Shiite regime of Iran.

So it did not take long for the Deep State to retaliate. While Putin was basking in the glory of the 2014 winter Olympics at Sochi, the entire apparatus of Imperial Washington­–the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy, the State Department and a long string of Washington funded NGOs­-was on the ground in Kiev midwifing the putsch that overthrew Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President and Russian ally.

From there, the Ukrainian civil war and partition of Crimea inexorably followed, as did the escalating campaign against Russia and its leader.

Indeed, given the Stalin-era animosity between the Russian-speaking Donbas and Crimean regions of the confected state of Ukraine and the virulent anti-Russian populations elsewhere­ – including descendants of the Nazi collaborators with Hitler during WWII­ – there could have been no other outcome. And that was especially the case after Washington designated “Yats”, a neo-Nazi sympathizer named Arseniy Yatseniuk, as the guy to takeover the Ukrainian government at the time of the Kiev uprising.

So as it turned out, the War Party could not have planned a more fortuitous outcome­ – especially after Russia moved to protect its legitimate interests in its own backyard resulting from the Washington-instigated civil war in Ukraine, including protecting its 200-year old Naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea. The War Party simply characterized these actions falsely as acts of aggression by a potential sacker of the peace and territorial integrity of its European neighbors.

There is nothing like a demonized enemy to keep the $700 billion national security budget flowing and the hideous Warfare State opulence of the Imperial City intact. So why not throw in an allegedly “stolen” US election to garnish the case?

In a word, the Little Putsch in Kiev is now begetting a Great Big Coup in the Imperial City.

This is a history-shattering development, but don’t tell the boys and girls and robo-machines on Wall Street.

Pathetically, they still think its game on.

David Alan Stockman is an author, former businessman and U.S. politician who served as a Republican U.S. Representative from the state of Michigan and as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan.

22/06/2017

Kirk Sorensen: The Future Of Energy?

Jeff Fitchett: Fascinating interview!  If you are curious or weary about nuclear technology I think this interview is worth a listen to.  Personally, I have held a negative view on nuclear energy because of the waste and potential for disaster.  The potential in thorium reactors has put my mind at ease.  Check out this interview.


21/06/2017

People Are Devolving Into Degeneracy and Violence – Don’t Join the Club - By Michael Krieger

The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth, 
Was struck with astonishment. 
It was thickly grown with weeds. 
“Ha”, he said, 
“I see that none has passed here in a long time.” 
Later he saw that each weed was a singular knife. 
“Well”, he mumbled at last, 
“Doubtless there are other roads.” 

- Stephen Crane, The Wayfarer

When times get tough people can unite and fight back against a common enemy, or they can be manipulated into fighting each other. Unfortunately, the latter has become increasingly popular amongst all sides in what has become an increasingly deranged, adolescent and counterproductive political environment.
Meanwhile, the people who are truly powerful, the oligarchs of industry and their bought and paid for political minions are the ones who really benefit. The primary purpose of this website from the very beginning has been to highlight how power actually functions in imperial America with the hope that people across the political spectrum could unite and push back against the unaccountable rent-seeking practices of a common enemy. It seems I was extraordinarily naive.
When a writer and thinker such as myself is forced to admit failure, it’s a very tough pill to swallow. Writing this blog is in many ways a thankless task. I’m essentially doing volunteer work day in and day out because I passionately believe in the ideas I put forth, and to see them have little to no effect on the public debate can be very depressing. Rather than seeing human beings unite to throw off the predatory shackles that bind them as I had hoped, I see people who should be coming together punching and yelling at each other in the streets — and that’s on a good day. On bad days, people are getting shot or run over, from Virginia to London. Watching all this madness unfold while the truly powerful sit back and grin, more secure in their positions as ever before thanks to rabble fighting each other, sometimes makes me want to just stop doing this writing thing. After all, what’s the point?
But I know better. I know that karma, or action, is not about the fruits of your work, but the action itself is everything. I discussed this concept at length in the post,Do Ends Justify the Means? Here’s an excerpt.
Unfortunately, many people don’t have any principles to begin with and simply live their lives in the pursuit of their own superficial, materialistic or egotistical goals. These are the types of people who most often employ “ends justify the means” thinking, which is exactly why those of us who do have principles must reject this way of thinking and pursue a more conscious manner of achieving our ends. If that means our ends aren’t achieved in our lifetime that’s something that must be accepted. The means we use will reverberate in the universe forever and will benefit the world whether we’re able to point to definitive results or not.
As much as I understand the above to be true, it doesn’t make staring at the world devolving around me any easier. However, it does provide me with the moral fortitude to stick to my principles even if nobody is listening or cares.
If any of what I’ve written so far speaks to you, let me share a few thoughts I wrote down the other night while lamenting the mounting degeneracy that seems to be multiplying in society at large.
What I see out there is ugly. Really ugly and it’s coming from all sides. There seems to be this perverse ascendent philosophy (if you can call it that) to act as depraved as your perceived enemy. I think that’s the worst possible response and can only lead to one thing. More depravity.
I don’t consider myself particularly enlightened, but I’ve come to a few realizations and perhaps the most important one of all is to always try to be better. Look for your better nature and try to follow it. While I certainly don’t always live up to what I want to be in my language or commentary, I understand that when you stay true to your better self you are much happier and content. It’s better for you, it’s better for your relationships and it’s better for the world.
Many people seem to be losing sight of the big picture while focusing on petty arguments and fame obsession.
Picking holes in other people is easy, working on yourself is much harder. But it’s so much more important.
I wrote this post for myself as much as I did for my readers. I hope it connected with some of you, and helps you stick to your better nature as things get uglier around us. The healthy response to others getting worse, is not to imitate them, but to try to be better.
If you enjoyed this post, and want to contribute to genuine, independent media, consider visiting our Support Page.

Today the Federal Reserve Is the Bank of the United States, and There Is No President Andrew Jackson

“Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin!

You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!”
 — Andrew Jackson, shortly before ending the charter of the Second Bank of the United States.


(From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels)