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)

19/06/2017

Peak Prosperity News Update 6-16-2017

Jeff Fitchett: Great update!


Play Ball - James Howard Kunstler

Historians of the future, huddled around their goose-fat lamps in muddy woolen cloaks, may cite this as the month that the Kardashian Dreamland formerly known as “The USA” finally lost its collective mind.

Submitted for your approval, as the late, great Rod Serling (senator from The Twilight Zone) used to say: this week’s Russia-Russia-Russia hearing on Capital Hill. I caught the final hour of this circus when freshman senator Kamala Harris (D – Cal) was hectoring Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his “contact with Russian Officials” and had to be reprimanded by the chair for her rude behavior.

Note: it’s now deemed illicit for US government officials to talk to Russian diplomats. I wonder what would happen if government officials in other lands decided that it was improper to talk with US diplomats. The Democratic Party seems to be building a case that the world would be better off without diplomats cluttering up each other’s capital cities. Hey hey, ho ho, Di-plo-macy has got to go! Now that’s a most progressive idea! Apparently, AG Sessions riled Senator Harris by pointing out that the Soviet Union collapsed nearly thirty years ago — a typical white privilege thing to say, right?

Next up was Senator Mark Warner (D – Va), Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who grilled Sessions about Russia’s electronic warfare capability. Say what? First of all, wouldn’t Senator Warner find more enlightenment on the subject by calling the Secretary of Defense, or the top military brass, or the NSA Director to the witness table? Does he know where the duties of the US Attorney General begin and end?

Secondly, Is there anybody in this country with an IQ above room temperature who thinks that the USA is not similarly disposed to carry out electronic warfare? Or that all the advanced nations of the world are not toying with internet intrusions into each other’s cyber space? Perhaps this is a manifestation of the political neurosis called American Exceptionalism, the idea that we’re so unlike people in other lands that they might as well be space aliens. (A sweet idea for a new Twilight Zone episode.)

All this idiocy suggests that the Russia meme is losing its mojo and the forces dedicate to dump Trump might have to look elsewhere for some legal ground to stand on. For the moment, they’re veering into the darkling woods where obstruction of justice lives, a Blair Witch Project of politics, where any old assemblage of broken twigs is a sure sign of the lurking beast —  but perhaps that’s exactly where witch-hunting takes you.

Personally, I still believe they’ll run him over with the 25th Amendment, which allows for simple removal of a batshit incompetent executive without the pain-in-the-ass rigmarole of due process. You just get a consensus of the highest officials in the land to agree that guy has to go, and they get him gone, and, in this case, you get yourself Mike Pence, a tranny-like Church-Lady with a hard-on for the Koch Brothers. That’ll get the country great fast, I’m sure.

Then, of course, there was the gunning down of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others on a Virginia ballfield by a disgruntled Bernie Sanders fan, of all things. Is it hyperbole to say that this incident had the tone of a first shot in a new civil war? Even the hysterical elements over at CNN rushed to put out the very brushfires they had been kindling by broadcasting the Thursday night news against the backdrop of the annual congressional charity baseball gamed held at the Washington Nationals ballpark — as if the sore-beset people of this dissolute land might be stirred from their anomie by the comforting sound of wood on horsehide. Summer’s not quite officially here yet, but who feels like dancing in the streets? It’s more like wanting to hide behind the nearest trash can.

16/06/2017

Are We Fighting Terrorism, Or Creating More Terrorism? - Written by Ron Paul

Originally published at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity

When we think about terrorism we most often think about the horrors of a Manchester-like attack, where a radicalized suicide bomber went into a concert hall and killed dozens of innocent civilians. It was an inexcusable act of savagery and it certainly did terrorize the population.

What is less considered are attacks that leave far more civilians dead, happen nearly daily instead of rarely, and produce a constant feeling of terror and dread. These are the civilians on the receiving end of US and allied bombs in places like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere.

Last week alone, US and “coalition” attacks on Syria left more than 200 civilians dead and many hundreds more injured. In fact, even though US intervention in Syria was supposed to protect the population from government attacks, US-led air strikes have killed more civilians over the past month than air strikes of the Assad government. That is like a doctor killing his patient to save him.

Do we really believe we are fighting terrorism by terrorizing innocent civilians overseas? How long until we accept that “collateral damage” is just another word for “murder”?

The one so-called success of the recent G7 summit in Sicily was a general agreement to join together to “fight terrorism.” Have we not been in a “war on terrorism” for the past 16 years? What this really means is more surveillance of innocent civilians, a crackdown on free speech and the Internet, and many more bombs dropped overseas. Will doing more of what we have been doing do the trick? Hardly! After 16 years fighting terrorism, it is even worse than before we started. This can hardly be considered success.

They claim that more government surveillance will keep us safe. But the UK is already the most intrusive surveillance state in the western world. The Manchester bomber was surely on the radar screen. According to press reports, he was known to the British intelligence services, he had traveled and possibly trained in bomb-making in Libya and Syria, his family members warned the authorities that he was dangerous, and he even flew terrorist flags over his house. What more did he need to do to signal that he may be a problem? Yet somehow even in Orwellian UK, the authorities missed all the clues.

But it is even worse than that. The British government actually granted permission for its citizens of Libyan background to travel to Libya and fight alongside al-Qaeda to overthrow Gaddafi. After months of battle and indoctrination, it then welcomed these radicalized citizens back to the UK. And we are supposed to be surprised and shocked that they attack?

The real problem is that both Washington and London are more interested in regime change overseas than any blowback that might come to the rest of us back home. They just do not care about the price we pay for their foreign policy actions. No grand announcement of new resolve to “fight terrorism” can be successful unless we understand what really causes terrorism. They do not hate us because we are rich and free. They hate us because we are over there, bombing them.

14/06/2017

Things to come - by James Howard Kunstler

Support Jim's blog by visiting his Patreon Page!

As our politicos creep deeper into a legalistic wilderness hunting for phantoms of Russian collusion, nobody pays attention to the most dangerous force in American life: the unraveling financialization of the economy.

Financialization is what happens when the people-in-charge “create” colossal sums of “money” out of nothing — by issuing loans, a.k.a. debt — and then cream off stupendous profits from the asset bubbles, interest rate arbitrages, and other opportunities for swindling that the artificial wealth presents. It was a kind of magic trick that produced monuments of concentrated personal wealth for a few and left the rest of the population drowning in obligations from a stolen future. The future is now upon us.

Financialization expressed itself in other interesting ways, for instance the amazing renovation of New York City (Brooklyn especially). It didn’t happen just because Generation X was repulsed by the boring suburbs it grew up in and longed for a life of artisanal cocktails. It happened because financialization concentrated immense wealth geographically in the very few places where its activities took place — not just New York but San Francisco, Washington, and Boston — and could support luxuries like craft food and brews.

Quite a bit of that wealth was extracted from asset-stripping the rest of America where financialization was absent, kind of a national distress sale of the fly-over places and the people in them. That dynamic, of course, produced the phenomenon of President Donald Trump, the distilled essence of all the economic distress “out there” and the rage it entailed. The people of Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin were left holding a big bag of nothing and they certainly noticed what had been done to them, though they had no idea what to do about it, except maybe try to escape the moment-by-moment pain of their ruined lives with powerful drugs.

And then, a champion presented himself, and promised to bring back the dimly remembered wonder years of post-war well-being — even though the world had changed utterly — and the poor suckers fell for it. Not to mention the fact that his opponent — the avaricious Hillary, with her hundreds of millions in ill-gotten wealth — was a very avatar of the financialization that had turned their lives to shit. And then the woman called them “a basket of deplorables” for noticing what had happened to them.

And now the rather pathetic false promises of President Trump, the whole MAGA thing, is unraveling at exactly the same time that the financialized economy is entering its moment of final catastrophic phase-change. The monuments to wealth — especially the stock and bond portfolios and the presumed value of real estate investments — will surrender to a process you might call price-discovery-from-Hell, revealing their worth to be somewhere between little and nothing. The accumulated monstrous debts of persons, corporations, and sovereign societies, will be suddenly, shockingly, absolutely, and self-evidently unpayable, and the securities represented by them will be sucked into the kind of vortices of time/space depicted in movies about mummies and astronauts. And all of a sudden the avatars of that wealth will see their lives turn to shit just like the moiling, Budweiser-gulping, oxycontin-addled deplorables in the flat, boring, parking lot wastelands of our ruined drive-in Utopia saw their lives rendered into a brown-and-yellow slurry draining clockwise down the toilet of history.

Nobody in power in this country is paying attention to how close we are to that epic moment — at least, they’re not talking about it. If the possibility of all that even occupies some remote corner of their brains, they surely don’t know how to prepare the citizenry for it, or what to do about it. The truth is that societies respond emergently to major crises like the imminent unraveling of our financialized economy, often in disorderly and surprising ways. I suppose we’ll just have to watch the nauseating spectacle play out, and in the meantime enjoy the Russian collusion melodrama for whatever it’s worth — probably more than a ticket to Wonder Woman or the new Tom Cruise Mummy movie.

13/06/2017

Gerald Celente - Iran War Coming. Will Markets Crash?


Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person In The World by Paul Craig Roberts

Jeff Fitchett: This is a very poignant article about the decline of the United States of America.  It is worth a read.  
It must be wonderful being Vladimir Putin and being the most powerful person on earth. And not even have to say so yourself. The US Democratic Party is saying it for Putin along with the entirety of the Western presstitute media and the CIA and FBI also. The Russian media doesn’t have to brag about Putin’s power. Megyn Kelly, the Western presstitutes, and Western leaders are doing it for them:  Putin is so powerful that he is able to place in office his choice for the President of the United States.
I mean, Wow! What power!  Americans are simply out of the game. Americans, despite a massive intelligence budget and 16 seperate intelligence services plus those of its NATO vassals, are no match whatsoever for Vladimir Putin. 
I mean, really! What is the CIA for? What is the NSA for? What are the rest of them for? Americans would do better to close down these incompetent, but expensive, “intelligence services” and pay the money to Putin as a bribe not to select our president. Maybe the CIA should get down on its knees and beg Putin to stop electing the President of the United States. I mean, how humuliating. I can hardly stand it. I thought we are the “world’s sole superpower, the uni-power, the exceptional, indispensable people.” It turns out that we are a nothing people, ruled by the President of Russia. 
When the Democrats, CIA, and media decided to launch their PR campaign against Trump, they didn’t realize how inconsequential it would make the United States appear by putting American democracy into Putin’s pocket. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They were fixated on making sure Trump did not endanger the massive military/security complex budget by restoring normal relations with Russia. 
There is no sign that American leadership in any area is actually capable of thought. Consider Wall Street and corporate leadership. To boost share prices Wall Street forced all corporations to desert their home country and move the production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to where labor and regulatory costs were lower. The lower costs raised profits and share prices. Wall Street threatened resistant corporations with takeovers of the companies if they refused to move abroad in order to increase their profits.
Neither Wall Street nor corporate boards and CEOs were smart enough to understand that moving jobs offshore also moved US consumer incomes and purchasing power offshore. In other words, the financial and business leadership were too stupid to comprehend that without the incomes from high value-added, high productivity US jobs, the American consumer would not have the discretionary income to continue in his role as the economy’s driver. 
The Federal Reserve caught on to Wall Street’s mistake. To rectify the mistake, the Fed expanded credit, allowing a buildup in consumer debt to keep the economy going on credit purchases. However, once consumer debt is high relative to income, the ability to buy more stuff departs. In other words, credit expansion is not a permanent fix for the lack of consumer income growth.
A country whose financial and business leadership is too stupid to understand that a population increasingly employed in part-time minimum wage jobs is not a big spending population is a country whose leadership has failed.
It is strickly impossible to boost profits by offshoring jobs without also offshoring US consumer incomes. Therefore, the profits from offshoring are temporary. Once enough jobs have been moved offshore that aggregate demand is stymied, the domestic market stagnates and then declines.
As I have demonstrated so many times for so many years, as has John Williams (shadowstats.com), the jobs reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are nonsense. The jobs in the alleged recovery from June 2009 are largely low income domestic service jobs and the product of the theoretical birth/death model. The alleged recovery from the 2007-08 financial crisis is the first recovery in history in which the labor force participation rate declined. Labor force participation rates decline when the economy offers scant job opportunities, not when employment opportunities are rising.
What we know about US jobs is that the jobs are increasingly part-time minimum wage jobs. According to a presstitute news report that might or might not be true, there are only 12 counties in the entirely of the United States in which a person can rent a one-bedroom home on a minimum wage income. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/08/minimum-wage-affordable-housing-rentals-study 
In response to this report, a professor at Virginia Tech suggested that the government offer increased rental assistance and boost programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which invests in affordable housing. 
In other words, taxpayers are to pick up the costs to Americans of US corporations deserting the US labor force. Those Americans who still have middle class incomes will be taxed to cover the lost incomes that the offshoring corporations and Wall Street have snatched away from American workers who can no longer earn enough to pay for their own housing.
In other words, capitalism has reached the point in its descent that it cannot exist without public subsidies for the people dispossessed by capitalism.
On a number of occasions I have written about how many costs of production are imposed on third parties, such as the environment. A significant percentage of the profits of capitalist corporations comes from the political and legal ability of the corporations to impose their costs of production on third parties. In other words, capitalism makes money because it can impose its costs of production on the environment and on people who do not share in the profits. I have provided many examples of this, especially in the area of real estate development. The developer is able to shift a large part of his costs to others.
This cost shifting has now reached the level of inducing Armeggedon. There is an effort to impeach Trump and put the warmonger VP Pence in the presidency. As Trump campaigned on restoring normal relations with Russia, a defeat of the attempt to reduce tensions would reinforce the recent conclusion of the Russian military high command that Washington is planning a first strike nuclear attrack on Russia. 
This is the risk that the entire world faces due to the dependence of the power and profit of the US military/security complex on war and enemies. 
In other words, there is only one remaining rationale for the existence of the United States of America — the interests of the military/security complex — and these interests require a powerful enemy whether real or orchestrated.
Former CIA official John Stockwell wrote: “It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.” The hatred and distrust of Russia that the West is currently being force-fed reflects Stockwell’s revelation, as does the orchestrated hatred and distrust of Muslims that has supported Washington’s destruction in whole or part of seven countries and trillions of dollars in new US war debt.
Globalism, that is, labor arbitrage across national boundaries, and financialization, the diversion of consumers’ incomes into interest and fees to banks, have wrecked the US economy. The “opportunity society” has vanished. Children have poorer economic prospects than their parents. The offshoring of manufacturing and professional service jobs such as IT and software engineering has collapsed the growth of aggregate demand in the US. The Federal Reserve’s credit expansion was only a temporary reprive.
Formerly prosperous areas are in ruins. States’ budgets and pension systems are failing. There is no payoff to a university education. Americans’ economic prospects have been erased by globalism. Getting ahead requires connections as it did in the aristocratic systems. The high concentration of income and wealth has negated democracy. The government is only accountable to the rich. 
American political and business leadership not only destroyed the image of US sovereignty by placing American democracy in Putin’s pocket, but also destroyed the formerly vibrant American economy, once the envy of the world. 

Where can Americans find leadership? Certainly not in the Democratic Party, nor in the Republican Party, nor in the media, nor in the corporate community. How then does the US compete with Russia and China, two countries with good leadership? Is war the only answer to the question?

06/06/2017

Gimme Shelter - by James Howard Kunstler

“Have you all lost your mind?” Vladimir Putin replied to one of Megyn Kelly’s thrusts about alleged Russian perfidy toward the US in the gala interview that debuted her new Sunday Night star-chamber on NBC. Old Vlad put his finger on something there. His view of the late goings-on in America is like that of the proverbial detached Martian observer of strange Earthly doings, rattling his antennae and clicking his mouth-parts in mirth.
To which retort, by the way, one would have to answer, ”Yes, absolutely.” The toils of slow economic collapse, accompanied by the ceaseless effort by various arms of the Deep State to spin “the narrative” around the voting public’s collective head, has driven the polity insane. And this, of course, is on view in the bedlam that US politics has become, Trump and all. I’m waiting for The New York Times to run the three-column headline that says Russia Racist, Misogynist, and Islamophobic to finally bring together the programmed paranoia of NeoCon / DemProg alliance with the esprit de corp of the new collegiate Red Guard.
Mr. Putin does not have to lift a finger to detonate the groaning garbage barge of US domestic affairs. It’s already ignited and is faring toward a very peculiar species of civil war. You can be sure that the NeoCon / DemProg axis is determined to get rid of Trump at all costs. Impeachment requires some sort of high crime or misdeamenor. So far, going on a year, they haven’t come up with any evidence that the Golden Golem of Greatness acted as a Russian agent in some fashion, and that itself has got to be a little suspicious, considering the thousands of clerks in the spinning mills of those legendary seventeen Intel outfits the government runs. How could they fail to come up with a video of the Donald and Vladimir swatting each other playfully with birch switches in a Moscow banya? Five TV sitcom writers could surely come up with an angle — as long as it was a plausible entertainment.
In the meantime, Trump prevails, the mad bull elephant of the Republican herd, majestically swinging his trunk against everything breakable in the political china shop while trumpeting “Covfefe! Covfefe!” Last week it was the Paris Climate Accords. The op-ed writers in the usual places bounced off the walls of their virtual rubber room in response. Paul Krugman had to be dragged down to hydrotherapy at the NYT after he set his hair on fire. And Rachel Maddow practically popped a carotid artery in her muscular neck from all that shrieking.
I’m a bit more sanguine about the US withdrawal. To me, the Paris Accords were just another feel-good PR stunt enabling politicians to pretend that they could control forces that are already way out-of-hand, an international vanity project of ass-covering. The coming economic collapse will depress global industrial activity whether anybody likes it or not, and despite anyone’s pretense of good intentions — and then we will have a range of much more practical problems of everyday life to contend with.
Of course, Trump cannot possibly see it that way, given his wish to bring back the America of humming factories and happy workers seeing the USA in their Chevrolets and all that. That fantasy will eventually fade as the inability to get anything done in Washington becomes manifest and obvious. When the “basket of deplorables” sees their hopes dribble away, they will start in with serious mischief of their own, without Trump having to prompt them. Then it will be a quixotic battle between them and the BLM / SJW proxies that the higher-up chickenshits of DemProgdom have so carefully groomed as their vanguard. There will be blood.
Yes, Mr. P, America has lost its mind. The whole thing has turned into some kind of nonstop Kardashian tranny monster truck shit-show of manufactured melodrama and lost causes, inducing a kind of global nausea that may ultimately prove more fatal than the rising surface temperature and melting icecaps. Russia, to its credit, and whatever else you think about it, has some regard for its own survival. Our country prefers the excitement of self-destruction.

02/06/2017

Is Bitcoin Standing In For Gold? by Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

In a series of articles posted on www.paulcraigroberts.org, we have proven to our satisfaction that the prices of gold and silver are manipulated by the bullion banks acting as agents for the Federal Reserve.
The bullion prices are manipulated down in order to protect the value of the US dollar from the extraordinary increase in supply resulting from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) and low interest rate policies. 
The Federal Reserve is able to protect the dollar’s exchange value vis-a-via the other reserve currencies—yen, euro, and UK pound—by having those central banks also create money in profusion with QE policies of their own.
The impact of fiat money creation on bullion, however, must be controlled by price suppression. It is possible to suppress the prices of gold and silver, because bullion prices are established not in physical markets but in futures markets in which short-selling does not have to be covered and in which contracts are settled in cash, not in bullion.
Since gold and silver shorts can be naked, future contracts in gold and silver can be printed in profusion, just as the Federal Reserve prints fiat currency in profusion, and dumped into the futures market. In other words, as the bullion futures market is a paper market, it is possible to create enormous quantities of paper gold that can suddenly be dumped in order to drive down prices. Everytime gold starts to move up, enormous quantities of future contracts are suddenly dumped, and the gold price is driven down. The same for silver.
Rigging the bullion price prevents gold and silver from transmitting to the currency market the devaluation of the dollar that the Federal Reserve’s money creation is causing. It is the ability to rig the bullion price that protects the dollar’s value from being destroyed by the Federal Reserve’s printing press.
Recently, the price of a Bitcoin has skyrocketed, rising in a few weeks from $1,000 to $2,200. Two explanations suggest themselves. One is that the Federal Reserve has decided to rid itself of a competing currency and is driving up the price with purchases while accumulating a large position, which then will be suddenly dumped in order to crash the market and scare away potential users from Bitcoins. Remember, the Fed can create all the money it wishes and, thereby, doesn’t have to worry about losses.
Another explanation is that people concerned about the fiat currencies but frustrated in their attempts to take refuge in bullion have recognized that the supply of Bitcoin is fixed and Bitcoin futures must be covered. It is strictly impossible for any central bank to increase the supply of Bitcoins. Thus Bitcoin is standing in for the suppressed function of gold and silver.
The problem with cryptocurrencies is that whereas Bitcoin cannot increase in supply, other cryptocurrencies can be created. In order to be trusted, each cryptocurrency would have to have a limited supply. However, an endless number of cryptocurrencies could be created that would greatly increase the supply of cryptocurrencies. If entrepreneurs don’t bring about this result, the Federal Reserve itself could organize it. 
Therefore, cryptocurrency might be only a temporary refuge from fiat money creation. This would leave gold and silver, whose supply can only gradually be increased via mining, as the only refuge from wealth-destroying fiat money creation.
For as long as the Federal Reserve can protect the dollar by bullion price suppression and money creation by other reserve currency central banks, and as long as the Federal Reserve can keep the influx of new dollars out of the general economy, the Federal Reserve’s policy adds to the wealth of those who are already rich. This is because instead of driving up consumer prices, thus threatening the US dollar’s exchange value with a rising rate of inflation, the Fed’s largess has flowed into the prices of financial assets, such as stocks and bonds. Bond prices are high, because the Fed forced up the price by purchasing bonds. Stock prices are high, because the abundance of money bid prices higher than profits justify. As the US government measures inflation in ways designed to understate it, the consumer price index and producer price index do not send alarm systems into the markets.
Thus, we have a situation in which the Fed’s policy has done nothing for the American population, but has driven up the values of the financial portofilios of the rich. This is the explanation why the rich are becoming more rich while the rest of America becomes poorer. 
The Fed has rigged the system for the rich, and the whores in the financial media and among the neoliberal economists have covered it up