Republican Neoliberalism is Touching Us All.

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These same rightwing trolls also call into Thom's show to try to get him to say something the censors can jump on. For example, to go into a building to commit a misdemeanor (like stealing a flag or even a piece of paper having a value of only 1 cent) is first-degree burglary. So be careful of being set up by these government agent agitators.

I think Wall Street is upset that they are losing their big bonuses so watch out for a big push by the Washington's Mafia thugs.

http://goldsilver.com/video/jim-rogers-cnbc-30-january-2012/

Big corporations are starting to convert to gold to protect their profits. Brazil, Russia, Iran, China, and India, (the BRIC countries) are starting to trade with each other in gold. Investment banking is going down the tube big time due to a paradigm shift away from investment banking, the US dollar, and the stock market. Institutions are actually buying gold above spot price by more than $250. This is killing Wall Street, and the Wall Street Mafia dons losing their bonuses is just the beginning. We can thank Occupy Wall Street for keeping a light on the banks since they can't continue business as usually because we are nearing election time. The Occupy Wall Street movement is really rattling their cages.

http://goldsilver.com/news/tf-metals-report-the-coming-paradigm-shift-in-silver/

See the graphs in the link above of the fall of Wall Street banking and investments firms, often the same, and the order of collaspe.

How could all of these institutions collapse in this fashion? It was due to policy deregulation as well as the manipulation of financial products, assets and information. Thus, the banking system and these institutions were functioning and supposedly solvent a great deal longer than a free market would have allowed. The act of misleading the market gave false values and elevated stock prices.

This is a perfect example of the mass psychology of the public investing in highly inflated assets based on superficial and bogus technical analysis. As the housing and financial markets were reaching their peak in the 2007, fundamentals played no part in their real market values— it was based entirely on mass psychology instead; the false belief projected by investors and the corporations themselves that these companies were actually of high value.

This disintegration of the housing market and banking system was not an isolated episode; rather it was part of the events that take place in STAGE 1 of what Dmitry Orlov calls the Five Stages Of Collapse.

Stage 1: Financial Collapse

Stage 2: Commercial Collapse

Stage 3: Political Collapse

Stage 4: Social Collapse

Stage 5: Cultural Collapse

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Corporations Have No Use for Borders

Posted on Jan 30, 2012 By Chris Hedges

Our most dangerous opponents, in fact, look and speak like us. They hijack familiar and comforting iconography and slogans to paint themselves as true patriots. They claim to love Jesus. But they cynically serve the function a native bureaucracy serves for any foreign colonizer. The British and the French, and earlier the Romans, were masters of this game. They recruited local quislings to carry out policies and repression that were determined in London or Paris or Rome. Popular anger was vented against these personages, and native group vied with native group in battles for scraps of influence. And when one native ruler was overthrown or, more rarely, voted out of power, these imperial machines recruited a new face. The actual centers of power did not change. The pillage continued. Global financiers are the new colonizers. They make the rules. They pull the strings. They offer the illusion of choice in our carnivals of political theater. But corporate power remains constant and unimpeded. Barack Obama serves the same role Herod did in imperial Rome.

This is why the Occupy Wall Street movement is important. It targets the center of power—global financial institutions. It deflects attention from the empty posturing in the legislative and executive offices in Washington or London or Paris. The Occupy movement reminds us that until the corporate superstructure is dismantled it does not matter which member of the native elite is elected or anointed to rule...

LA Police Department Conducts Joint Exercises with the Military

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Militant nonviolence is the answer to the troops and cops. Discrediting authoritarian responses to democracy is better than fighting them.

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As I see it, we are at a point in history where the wealthy and therefore powerful who now control the political system as they always tend to, have the technological means to deal with mob violence. They may not ultimately win, but the devastation that would occur in the process promises to be horrendous. They are getting plenty of practice in the Strategic Ellipse and other places where their Empire is having its way pushing neoliberalism on the "backwards and ignorant" (I do not mean that seriously) locals. As Hedges has said, the effort to recruit the underlings in the hierarchy who actually operate that military machinery and to try to get them to include themselves as part of the 99 percent is a worthy goal of continued non violence.

When humans refuse to operate the machinery, then we will probably get some sort of Terminator like process, which has already begun with the drones that are already in place and the small number of operators are getting lots of practice.

Obama Confirms US Drone Program in Pakistan 'US Drones Very Precise'

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I swear, this thread contains the only worthwhile conversation on this board.

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Guess that goes to show it can take time to build a good conversation. This one's been going for about a year and eight months now.

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“The overwhelming majority of all agitators’ statements are directed ad hominem. They are obviously based on psychological calculation rather than on the intention to gain followers through the rational statement of rational aims...it is precisely the aim of the agitator to transform the very same people into ‘rabble,’ i.e., crowds bent to violent action without any sensible political aim, and to create the atmosphere of the pogrom. The universal purpose of these agitators is to instigate methodically what, since Gustave Le Bon’s famous book, [The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, 1896] is commonly known as ‘the psychology of the masses.’”—Theodor Adorno, in “Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda,” 1951.
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On the other hand, it is the wisdom of the crowd that rises above the hubris of the elites. I am far more willing to throw in with democracy than with any small group claiming to be the vanguard of anything.

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Propaganda Wars : Their Version – “Markets don’t fail”. by on FEBRUARY 9, 2012

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Here is an interesting survey of the formation of activism in the wake of the Seattle WTO '99

http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/1653

I've been involved with Move To Amend and Albuquerque unOccupy and Occupy and it has been puzzling to me how we can get out of negative and reactive (protest) action into positive and proactive action. Nice to see there is a theory about that in Jason Adam's article where some ppl have it that the power structure gives form to the resistance just by having the form that it has. Makes perfect sense as a tendency - I think the inquiry about: What does it look like when we/un/Occupy win? may give answers to the question: What are positive and proactive actions we can take now?

It's our time!

http://www.facebook.com/events/117036258421725/117696761689008/

http://the99spring.com/training/

http://civic.moveon.org/99training/faq.html

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I don't see Obama sharing Bush's desire for war. If the forces around him are beyond his control, it will still not be Obama doing it. It will confirm the pessimism of the anti-duopoly cynics about the empire, but it will not be "about Obama" who has done everything to open other doors than war, and whose initiatives have been undermined by others. I think this is worth appreciating as we resist this insanity of war with Iran.

And, the disaster will be apocalyptic. The generals who say no were not there to oppose going into Iraq. We had weapons inspectors, but not this level of military pros saying that it will be a disaster.

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Thank you LeMoyne for those links.

I wrote months ago in late December 2011:

1. Obama will wait until the very last moment to act.

2. When Obama acts he will push through Clinton style Neo-Liberal polices: a bum's rush to totalartarianism.

3. Before anyone can really think out the implications and respond--War with Iran by "cloning" the Iraq war.

a. War will change the fundamental character of American society--especially put in place pre-existing economic war monopolies and mercenary subcontractors.

b. A 1950s style purge of all progressive groups as terrorists. Hedges has documented the history of such purges of progressives and reviews it in the video.

i. Obama has codified the totalartarian laws put in place by George "Little Boots" Bush.

ii. Local police departments and private mercenaries already have legal and material resources in place to carry out Enabling Act, and Night And Fog type policies.

This article could be retitled "Cloning War."

America Gone Stupid Over Iran
Making The Same "Mistake" Twice

By Lawrence Davidson

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The mythical disconnect between reality and America's shibboleth has been in place for decades - since before the Shah in one form or another.

A little review ought to clear things up: a jillion justifications for the defense of freedom and democracy with a little pie-in-the-sky on top - Obama was so right - many, many others deserve the NPP more.

Ten million solar rooftops (10^7) at $10,000 (10^4) apiece is $100 billion dollars - the US spends almost ten times that much on foreign wars, nuclear weapons, nuclear power and other subsidies to the fossil fool industry every year. Could have nationalized or subsidized the auto industry into the electric car business by now as well - the Danes have demonstrated how the electric cars can provide the storage capacity for a solar/wind system - hybrids can provide the greater range needed in US wide open spaces and allow for transition liquid fuel while solar electric builds up - the US could have a low-cost, safe, stable, high-efficiency dc<->hydrogen fuel cell cycle available to store & extract power for transportation and space heating in a few years of concerted effort. Inputs are sunlight and water and exhaust is water - instead we get more and more koyaanisqatsi

Not even a peep about a clear and simple path towards energy independence and sustainability that includes less dependence on mountaintop removal coal, the >30 Fukushima style nuclear plants and tar sand or North Slope oil.

But 'Yes We Can' defend Israel. Obama looks like Blair while Netanyahoo provides the Bushwackin' cowboy.

YEE HAW! The neo-cons are dreaming of a new Calvary ...

Looks more like the 7th Cavalry.

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The Real Health Care Debate

By Chris Hedges

April 09, 2012 "Truthdig" - -The debate surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act illustrates the impoverishment of our political life. ...And it is a law by which President Barack Obama, and his corporate backers, extinguished the possibilities of both the public option and Medicare for all Americans. There is no substantial difference between Obamacare and Romneycare. There is no substantial difference between Obama and Romney. They are abject servants of the corporate state. And if you vote for one you vote for the other.

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So it looks like the GOP 2012 election strategy, or more accurately the right-wing fascist movement in America, is to destabilize American society by engineering a limited crash of the economy, agitate for a war with Iran, and spark a race war in the United States. The recent shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma are a direct result of the Zimmerman shootings in Florida. With the combination of a depressed economy, guns, an ocean of methamphetamine, and incompetent corrupt police departments like Tulsa’s department this strategy is likely to wildly succeed. The assumption behind this destabilization is that an environment of absolute chaos will increase the Right-Wing’s fascist agenda and increase their changes of winning the 2012 election. This is a known strategy called “The Destabilization Game” and is what we are witnessing now in the United States.

I found this article, The Destabilization Game, by Tom Engelhardt to be particularly insightful. Once in awhile an author will offer a genuinely original observation of current world events and the broad ideas involved. Engelhardt understands the Bush administration’s geopolitical strategy as one of destabilization. “… it seems clear that destabilization was their modus operandi.” Engelhardt goes on to explain how this strategy is used in a number of countries around the world and even with American domestic political issues:

What they were eager to do was put the strategically most significant and contested regions of the planet "in play," using the destabilization card, always assuming in every destabilization situation that the chips would fall on their side of the gaming table, and that, if worse came to worse, even chaos would turn out to be to their benefit.

The most interesting concept in this political combat strategy is “chaos.” However, before examining the role of chaos, we have to first understand in detail the whole idea of destabilization and how it fits in this method of combat. Engelhardt does not delve into the historical background of this strategy of destabilization. It could be that he wanted to limit his analysis, or he does not know how it fits in the administration’s clearly defined approach to political conflict and control. Yet, his analysis and conclusions do not suffer inaccuracy from this omission. If the reason is historical unawareness of the Pentagon’s subversive combat theory, his conclusions gain greater credibility because they were reached independently of the administrations own understanding of how to engage in conflict. Where did this strategy come from and what is this formula for warfare?

Dick Cheney, the most powerful Vice President in American history, is most likely the person that established destabilization as the administration’s modus operandi. Cheney has been in government of decades, since the Nixon era, and has struggled to set and achieve specific political goals during this time. To increase presidential executive power has been one such goal, and seizing the post-Soviet arms race “peace dividend” is another. Not only is he focused on a set of political agendas, but he has the benefit of vast, nearly unlimited, government resources, human and material, to reach those ends.

One such resource is the combat experience and research of an Air Force fighter pilot named John Boyd. Boyd is famous for a theory of combat called the “OODA Loop.”

After retiring from the Air Force as a colonel, Boyd turned down many offers from industry in order to serve as an unpaid Pentagon consultant, continuing his revolutionary work as a civilian. His focus shifted from aircraft design to the wider issue of analyzing the reasons for success in conflict. This led to Boyd's seminal work, "Patterns of Conflict," an unpublished, two-day briefing that he gave for almost two decades throughout the military. This lecture first revealed Boyd's breakthrough, the "OODA Loop" (for Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action) a theory of how military commanders can win by getting inside the mind and outpace the decision cycle of the enemy commander.

Boyd's breakthrough theory would play a pivotal, but hidden role in the shaping of the U.S. victory in Operation Desert Storm, Coram writes. Then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney consulted extensively with Boyd and credits the retired fighter pilot with helping him resist an initial Army plan that would have employed the coalition ground forces in a pitched battle with the Iraqi army.http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/815334/posts

Boyd developed a specific method of developing combat strategy. It is has since been applied to business, law enforcement, and even sports.

The Boyd Cycle, otherwise known as the O-O-D-A loop, is a decision making cycle developed by Col. John Boyd U.S.A.F. He developed the cycle over the skies of Korea in the mid 1950’s, while flying combat missions. He determined that conflict was timed, competitive Observation, Orientation, Decision and Action Cycles. The essence for Boyd was human perception, not weapons or circumstances.http://www.lesc.net/blog/dangerous-body-languagethe-boyd-cycle-and-winning-street-0

It is not really a singular “loop,” but numerous possible, and complex interconnections that can be called loops.

Tom Engelhardt discusses in his article how destabilization and chaos are used by the Bush administration to combat military and political opponents. A key goal in Boyd’s decision-making cycle is to “create a fog of war,” and provide a method to manage chaos.

To spread chaos among the enemy and to stem the chaotic effects upon one's own. Boyd's warfare is a moral one. By moral, I mean the psychological ability for an enemy to apply intellectual effort to the complicated tasks of war. The first goal of an aggressor, and in Boyd's philosophy the advantage always lies with the aggressor, is to confuse and blind an opponent. In Boyd's OODA loop, the single largest component is that of observation. Cut that and the enemy is virtually defeated…. The most amazing aspect of the OODA Loop is that the losing side rarely understands what happened.”

This is why the Bush administration assumes that chaos is to their benefit. Creating chaos is the strength, but also the weakness of the Boyd OODA Loop. The decision loop becomes short circuited when events become chaotic from the perspective of the participants. When events outpace the ability of a person, or bureaucracy to observe and orient, chaos becomes unmanageable. This is the same conclusion of Engelhardt’s article.

Others have come to this same conclusion independently. Stan Goff is a retired Special Forces Master Sergeant who was an instructor at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama, and taught Military Science at West Point. In an interview, Goff offered his analysis of how this administration is applying Boyd principles of combat. It appears that chaos, at least in Iraq, has gotten the upper hand.

The US military has long attempted to use Boyd's discoveries to reconfigure the military. But neither the institution of the military nor the US state can really adopt Boyd's principles of tactical agility. Boyd worked his principles out in aerial combat, and they are principles for conscious actors. The military is too bureaucratic, foreign occupiers have difficulty "orienting" accurately, and the political goals of the US state create and amplify their own resistance.

And the ruling class is stuck in its own thought process. They reduce everything to a technical problem to "solve." That's how Rumsfeld's so-called Revolution in Military Affairs came about. They take a concept like tactical agility, and they try to apply it with a digital thought process.But strategic conflict is not ultimately resolvable through technology. Technologies change the framework, but strategic conflict is a contest of consciousness, and war is political, again subject to human agency. That's why I haven't been able to share the anxiety of many allies about US military invincibility, or even about the attempt to create a panopticon society here. We're better off focusing on understanding their vulnerabilities, so we can fight them. We have to consciously reject internalizing their gaze, as Foucault might say.

In fact, Boyd's principles contained a strong dose of chaos theory. Every action creates a cascade of consequences that are unpredictable and often momentous... the butterfly effect. That's precisely why tactical agility is achieved with minimal long-term planning and the refinement of the intuition in order to go through the OODA cycle faster than your opponent. This makes an ally of that so-called chaos, instead of an enemy. Look at Iraq right now, and tell me who is reacting to whom.http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/08/06/an-interview-with-stan-goff/

If chaos is the goal, order and understanding is the counter remedy. Deconstructing the “framed” arguments, or talking points, of the extremists is a necessity. All traditional political organizations and tools can be incorporated to lift the fog of war just as the rightwing has incorporated political institutions and resources. Think tanks, book and article publications, special political studies, popular media spokespersons, bloggers, student groups, labor groups, environmentalists, and local political leaders must expose and identify the source of this designed confusion to create social destabilization.

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Obama 'Has Been On Wall Street's Side Since Day One'

04/14/2012

When it comes to reforming Wall Street, President Obama is all talk, according to Eliot Spitzer.

The former New York governor took to Reuters TV's Fast Forward with Chrystia Freeland to slam the president for what he says is a talk-tough, act-weak approach to the financial industry, which less than five years ago brought the global economy to the brink of disaster.

"I'm not persuaded that this President has really been a voice for reform when it comes to Wall Street," he said. "Wall Street has pretended that it has taken its hits, but it really hasn't."

Spitzer summarized Obama's efforts as the "occasional speech" criticizing Wall Street practices, largely followed by little to no substantial legislative action.

"When it has come to actually putting in place the reform-based structure that would actually have changed the way the banking system works, he has really been on Wall Street's side since day one," Spitzer said.

Spitzer criticized the Obama administration for what he perceives as opposition to the Volcker Rule, a key piece of financial reform that aimed to curb banks' high-risk bets with their own money. Such trading has been criticized for pitting banks against their own clients. The president first introduced the rule more than two years ago, calling it a "simple and common-sense reform" at the time.

Spitzer also claims the White House did not fight to give judges the ability to reform mortgages in the wake of the housing collapse."The White House and Treasury intervened to defeat that in the Senate, something that could have fundamentally altered the course of our mortgage crisis that still continues to this day," he said.

The financial markets are completely manipulated by algorithmic trading and High frequency front running. Obama is in his fourth year of the presidency and has done nothing to rid Wall Street of corruption during this economic depression. Obama is playing Progressives for fools and he is correct.

Algorithms Gone Wild - AGAIN, and AGAIN, and AGAIN

April 13, 2012

What more is left to say at this point other than the fact that the hedge fund computers and their damnable algorithms have destroyed the integrity of the US futures markets. The sheer size, extent, ferocity and volatility of the moves that these pestilential computers are creating have rendered these markets basically useless for what they originally came into being for, namely, risk management for commercial entities.

Price swings of this magnitude are blowing up hedged positions put on by commercials and other end users/merchants/processors, etc. While margins are reduced for legitimate hedgers, they still must meet any and all margin calls on any hedged position, whether that is a long position or a short position. Some will say that all they need to do is to buy or sell the corresponding physical commodity and while simultaneously lifting the hedge. That might work fine on paper but in the real world it is a fabrication.

A cattle feedlot, a grain elevator owner/operator, a cocoa processor, a cotton mill, etc, may or may not have the actual product ready to sell as it is still maturing or growing in the field or may not be ready yet to actually buy the product but they might have hedges in place while they are waiting. So much for their hedges in this sort of idiotically insane trading environment. Their hedges are getting blasted to kingdom come but they must maintain the thing if it moves against them meaning that they need cash to meet any and all margin calls.

At some point, the cost of doing so, with hedge fund running prices all over the damn planet on a daily basis, is no longer feasible.

I am predicting here and now that unless something is done to corral these hedge funds, the futures market is going to become useless as a risk management tool for non-speculative entities.

Take a look at the following CCI chart (it might as well be copper or silver for that matter) and look at the extent of the daily price swings. Tuesday saw a big sell off across the sector as traders feared European debt woes and that brought about the RISK OFF trades. Commodities were dumped, the Dollar was bid higher and up went the bonds. The next day was relatively tame by comparison as traders were hesitant to do much of anything. Thursday saw the entire losses of the previous two days erased as Fed Governor Dudleys' comments were interpreted as making the case for another round of QE forthcoming sooner rather than later.

Today, news hit that Chinas' growth had slowed in the first quarter to a "pitiful" 8.1%. Yep, such a debacle ( if we could get half of that over here, a lot of our fiscal budget woes and our unemployment problem would actually get better). I am of course being sarcastic but once again the hedge funds and their mindless machines dumped everything in sight since we all know that no one needs to eat when growth is slowing down now do they? The result, YEP - all of the Dudley rally went down in flames with the market right back where it ended Tuesday.

Maybe we all should just go the hell to sleep and wake up in a year and see if the chart has actually gone anywhere besides up and down like a stinking yo-yo.http://www.traderdannorcini.blogspot.ca/2012/04/algorithms-gone-wild-again-and-again.html

Max Keiser talks to Rick Ackerman. They discuss flash crashes, market making, options trading, manipulating markets and more.
Gold And Silver Manipulation—"High Frequency Shearing"
JP Morgan trader Bruno Iksil's heft distorting credit-derivative indexes: Traders
Investors complain that Iksil's trades may be distorting prices, affecting bond holders who use the instruments to hedge hundreds of billions of dollars of fixed-income holdings. Analysts and economists also use the indexes to help gauge perceptions of risk in credit markets.Though Iksil reveals little to other traders about his own positions, they say they've taken the opposite side of transactions and that his orders are the biggest they've encountered. Two hedge-fund traders said they have seen unusually large price swings when they were told by dealers that Iksil was in the market. At least some traders refer to Iksil as "the London whale", according to one person in the business.

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Chris Hedges' Columns:The Globalization of Hollow Politics

April 23, 2012

...Politicians such as Obama—and, I fear, Hollande—who carry out corporate agendas while speaking in the language of populism become enemies of liberal democracies. Labor unions, environmentalists, anti-war activists and civil libertarians, blinded by the images and lies disseminated by public relations offices, stop watching what these politicians do. They mute their criticism to give these politicians, whose rhetoric is rarely matched by reality, a chance. The result accelerates our disempowerment. It is also, more ominously, a discrediting of traditional liberal democratic values...

...A breakdown of liberal democracy, which seems to be where we are headed, may not bring with it a salutary change. The most retrograde forces within the corporate state, such as the Koch brothers, will lavish racists, homophobes, demagogues, birthers, creationists and gun-carrying, flag-waving idiots with money once the political center crumbles. The left in Europe, and most certainly in the United States, could prove to be too weak to battle against figures like Le Pen or those in the U.S. who rally around the perverted ideologies of the Christian right and the tea party and who receive tens of millions of dollars in corporate backing. The left, in short, may find that it has done too little too late to be an effective counterweight. And widespread discontent could very easily be manipulated by the corporate elites to ensure our enslavement. I watched this happen in the former Yugoslavia. This is the real battle before us. And it has nothing to do with the election charade between Obama and Romney and, I expect, Hollande and Sarkozy.

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I haven't gone over all the excellent information you posted as I'm on my way out the door, but I got a lot of it. When you control the media its much easier to sow chaos and fear and then market your ideology as the solution. Of course this is Hegelian Dialectic 2012 version. What disturbs me is that I have a few right leaning friends who sense or feel that we are rapidly devolving and they lay blame in such an unfocused manner. When you try to discuss and debate issues with them and try to drill down to the root of the problems, some of these conservative gun lovers simply say, I'm buyng more ammo because this is going to get ugly.

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Finding the Culprits:Derivatives expert Janet Tavakoli takes a hard look at what — and who — caused the financial crisis. By , April 25, 2012

[Snips...] We need to have investigations. But with the pushback and all the lobbying, what they’ve been counting on is that the statute of limitations for some of these frauds is expiring. So if you don’t file complaints, you may not be able to.

Members of Congress are enabling the lack of punishment and covering up great misdeeds in our financial system — and they’re doing it with no fear of consequences — i.e., being voted out of office, in which case they could find themselves the subject Many people are covering up for cronies who have a lot of money sloshing around. We threw money into the financial system with no accountability and thus made the problem worse. Our system has been completely infiltrated and bought off. Things aren’t changing because Big Money doesn’t want it to change.of investigation.

He’s [Obama] left people in place who crashed the global financial system in the first place: [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner and [Federal Reserve chair] Ben Bernanke. Obama had told us: “You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results.” So he’s been quite a hypocrite.

He has a lot of resources at his disposal, one main one being moral suasion — he’s got the pulpit. When there was a crisis, Reagan, Carter, Bush went on television and explained what needed to be done. We haven’t seen that kind of leadership from President Obama. If anything, the American people have been told things to make them think [conditions] aren’t really as bad as they are: inflation isn’t as bad as you think because an iPad is cheaper now — nonsense like that.

But the fact is we’ve bailed people out and had no consequences for them. So it emboldened them to turn around and behave in the same way. Look at banks like JP Morgan: Shortly after the crisis, they thumbed their nose at the idea of trying to separate speculation from the rest of the bank. So if you don’t have restraints on behavior, you’ll see it repeated. And now we’ve made it worse. It’s like handing a drunk driver who got into a crash the keys to a bigger, faster car together with a bottle of vodka.

In every area of finance where we bailed people out, you see the same wrongdoers volunteering to help fix the situation. That’s pretty funny: They weren’t trustworthy before, and they’re not trustworthy now...

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Jon Corzine Is the Original George Zimmerman

Matt Taibbi, April 24 2012

[Snip...] Nonetheless, there’s been an intense effort at trying to convince the public that no crime has been committed. Whoever is handling MF Global’s P.R. (according to Pam Martens in this excellent piece, it’s APCO worldwide, a former Big Tobacco spin factory) appears to have convinced the company’s officers to emphasize the word “chaos” in describing the last days of the firm – as though $1.2 billion wasn’t intentionally stolen, per se, but simply lost in a kind of uncontrolled whirlwind of transactions that magically carried the money out of accounts off to worlds unknown.

...Almost every story written about MF Global by any financial news outlet will contain the word "chaos," and describe the bookkeeping challenges of the firm’s last days as just too overwhelming for mere human beings to handle.

...It would be one thing if this was a country with a general, across-the-board tendency toward leniency for property crime. But we send tens of thousands of people to do real jail time in this country for non-violent offenses like theft. We routinely separate mothers from their children for relatively petty crimes like welfare fraud. For almost anyone who isn’t Jon Corzine, it’s no joke to get caught stealing in America.

Embry - Market Manipulation More Blatant & There’s More of It

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The NeoCons had it figured out. They knew it would take a catastrophic and catalyzing event like a New Pearl Harbor to motivate the public to accept their actions. We have no way of engineering that kind of catalyizing event, althought the bailout angst was getting us close. I'm afraid we might need a complete financial meltdown for the dream walkers among us to finally feel the pain and wake up to the fact that democracy is a carefully crafted illusion. We are serfs in a capitalistic kingdom.

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I remember when the last of the Reagan Administration cronies finished ruling America from January 1981 to January 1993: twelve years of right-wing Republican domination which the country still has not recovered from. Clinton won the Presidency in 1993 wearing the costum of John F. Kennedy. He campaigned as a Progressive Populist promising to “grow” the economy and remaking government. Out of that administration Clinton established new policies that seemed at odds with a Kennedy style progressivism: North American Free Trade Agreement, that exported more manufacturing jobs to Mexico, Financial Services Modernization Act which abolished Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which consolidated the media to a even more powerful monopoly.

Clinton came along; he had a different technique for breaking unions, it was called NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement.] Under NAFTA there was again a sharp increase in illegal blocking of organizing efforts. You put up a sign – We’re going to transfer operations to Mexico… It’s illegal but if you have a criminal state, it doesn’t make a difference.On OWS, Anarchism, Labor, Racism, Corporate Power and the Class War: Talking With Chomsky by LAURA FLANDERS, on April 30, 2012.

So Clinton added another eight wasted years—20 years of radical Neo-Liberal policies which advanced under Clinton’s Democratic administration. Following those 20 years George Bush Jr. is literally selected by the Supreme Court to take presidential office for another eight years of even more extreme Neo-Liberal and Corporatist consolidation for another eight years. So how long have Republican Neo-Liberal had time to move into place? Progressives have been in the wilderness for 28 years.

So when Obama took office in January 2009, progressives where ready for him to roll back some of those 28 years of Republican economic and legal policies. Please do not say that I and other progressives are impatient. We have waited long enough. Obama presented himself in the clothes of the Civil Rights movement, was critical of Bush’s endless wars and most of all he had a degree from Harvard in Constitutional Law for progressive concerned with the ever increasing power of the government to spy the our private lives after the Bush Patriot Act was passed. After 28 years Obama seemed to be the right President to set things right, to push back the long running tide of Right-Wing extremism. It turns out that 28 years of Republican policies is plenty of time to rig the electoral system and put in another Republican politician:

In the US, first of all, the electoral system has been almost totally shredded. For a long time it’s been pretty much run by private concentrated spending but now it’s over the top. Elections increasingly over the years have been [public relations] extravaganzas. It was understood by the ad industry in 2008, they gave Barack Obama their marketing award of the year. This year it’s barely a pretense. Talking with Chomsky

Under Obama we have seen finally seen the last stages of Corporatist State forming. Washington with the help of private companies is tightening the legal noose around our necks. Under this Democratic administration and with a president who holds a degree in constitutional law, we have seen a Police State arrest, beat, and shoot American citizens suspected of being disloyal or just exercising their constitutional right to protest.

It’s a class war, and a war on young people too… that’s why tuition is rising so rapidly. There’s no real economic reason for that. It’s a technique of control and indoctrination. Talking with Chomsky

Just take on recent example at the University of California, Davis. I don’t mean the pepper spraying of peaceful students for blocking a sidewalk, but rather the 12 students that held a peaceful sit-in at USBank branch on that campus. Attorney Jeff Reisig of Yolo Country is charging them with 20 counts each for obstructing movement in a public place and one count of conspiracy. The student protesters re looking at up to 11 years in prison and $1 million dollar fine! Just this morning, NYPD raided homes of potential May Day protestors on the pretense of one person with a six year old charge of “open container.” More and more general intent laws are being passed to make it more likely for any person to be charged for a crime but subject to draconian punishment as with the newly proposed CISPA internet laws. There are too many other examples of extreme punishment of civil disobedience to list. We are seeing Congress passing law after law making nearly any act of civil disobedience qualify for years in a private prison. Bankruptcy laws have been changed so that citizens could end up in debtors prisons. Student loans cannot be discharged or merely reduced in bankruptcy court, but like child support payment and income taxes. This law was extended in 2005.

Formal Legalism is the old tool that Washington DC is using to threaten, harass, and imprison its dissident citizens.

Formalism in the realm of legal reason places exclusive emphasis on the structural necessities of justice without asking the question of the adequacy of a legal form to the human reality which it is supposed to shape...Legalism in the sense of legal formalism can become, like certain types of logic, a kind of play with pure forms, consistent in itself, detached from life. If applied to life, this play can turn into a destructive reality. Form armed with power can become a terrible organ of suppression in a social group. From our point of view, legal formalism and totalitarian suppression are intimately related...Conventialism affirms the social and personal forms as forms. Automatic obedience to the accepted ways of behavior is demanded by conventional formalism. Its tremendous power in social relations, in education, and in self discipline makes it a tragic force in all human history. It tends to destroy the inborn vitality and creativity in every new being and of every new generation. It cripples life and replaces love by rule. It shapes personalities and communities by suppressing the spiritual and emotional substance which it is supposed to shape. The form destroys the meaning. Emotional reactions against conventional formalism are especially explosive and catastrophic. Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology Vol. I. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951, 1957 & 1963. page 90-91.

The purpose of this avalanche of onerous and invasive laws passed under the disguised of national security by a reactionary neo-fascist congress is to kill the democracy spirit of civil society, to silence legitimate dissent, and destroy the possibility of living a meaningful life in a free society by the daily demonstration of repressive power in each citizen’s daily life. Whenever progressives look to the Democratic Party for support against the gleeful abuse of power, they fail and even participate.

Listen to the speeches on MLK Day – and it’s all “I have a dream.” But he had another dream and he presented that in his last talk in Memphis just before he was assassinated. In which he said something about how he’s like Moses he can see the promised land but how we’re not going to get there. And the promised land was policies and developments which would deal with the poverty and repression, not racial, but the poor people’s movement. Right after that (the assassination) there was a march. [King] was going to lead it. Coretta Scott King led it. It started in Memphis went through the South to the different places where they’d fought the civil rights battle and ended up in Washington DC and they had a tent city, Resurrection Park and security forces were called in by the liberal congress. The most liberal congress in memory. They broke in in the middle of the night smashed up Resurrection Park and drove them out of the city. That’s the way you deal with popular movements that are threatening…. Talking with Chomsky

Barack Obama has proved to be a Neo-Liberal and can pass every test of being one: see video Neo-Liberal Republican:

The end result, is, private sector unionization is down to practically seven percent. Meanwhile the public sector unions have kind of sustained themselves [even] under attack, but in the last few years, there’s been a sharp [increase in the] attack on public sector unions, which Barack Obama has participated in, in fact. When you freeze salaries of federal workers, that’s equivalent to taxing public sector people…Talking with Chomsky .

False consciousness is really fragmented consciousness. The totalitarian security state carries out acts of violence daily right in front of its citizens without the citizenry realizing what is happening because violence is legitimated in smaller incremental steps. We have witnessed the largest act of criminality in American history with the subprime loan corporate control fraud scandal. The scale of illegality boggles the mind and these acts of criminal fraud are known and were even predicted. Bill Black: Our System Is So Flawed That Fraud Is Mathematically Guaranteed . And yet the banks go un-prosecuted. The Wall Street banks at this very moment manipulate the stock market with high frequency trading and naked short selling in the commodities markets!

Still the banks are issuing fraudulent loans, the police throw people out of their homes, and if the homeowner resisted, the militarized police use robots to throw incendiary devices into the home until it burns down. This is standard procedure as we recently witness in Modesto California. The news media cooperated by censoring the coverage, playing dumb to the cause of the fire even though Modesto police first admitted they started the home fire. The news coverage restricted footage of the four burned out buildings. The evicted resident displayed all the symptoms of a soldier with post traumatic syndrome. Murder, Suicide and Financial Ruin: How the Class War Is Destroying Americans' Lives And when the dead bodies are removed, its all legitimated by a religious service to celebrate the police organization and officers that arrive at the home of the desperate to throw them out into the street. Sorry, I do not see any heroes in this Modesto story. Because each step is viewed in isolation of the previous step--the fraud, the repression, and violence-- the news story is legitimated as a SWAT operation in the name of a bank loan home eviction.

The Corporate State is getting more violent each day and Obama is going along.

Chomsky on Liberal Disillusionment with Obama

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Good narrative, Anti.

What's missing is a good narrative everyone can pull from to counter all this.

The accepted national narrative is the neoliberal one. A pretense is made of there being two sides to that narrative on all the corporate owned media. And that's the narrative most people think in.

Intellectuals like Chomsky used to provide that counter narrative, but -- and this is despite The New York Times citing him as "arguably the most important intellectual alive today" in a 1979 article (and note, the title of that article was The Chomsky Problem, kind of like something right out of the 1971 Powell Memo, citing people like Ralph Nader as something like "the Nader problem") -- was systematically blacklisted from all corporate owned media in the 70's, coincidently at the same time the corporations were building their counter attack to "liberalism" that developed quickly into the Reagan front for neoliberalism that's been building in both major political parties ever since. That's part of the story, anyway, for how the right has come to control the national narrative.

Chris Hedges also provides another large narrative framework that adds context to that scenario in his: Death of the Liberal Class

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

Hey! Thanks for you response Ren. The two best progressive resources on the internet in my opinion is Thom Hartmann’s Conversations with Great Minds. He has particularly good economists for interviews.

The other important progressive resource is Chris Hedges Monday articles at Truthdig. Today’s is particularly good. Welcome to the Asylum, April 30, 2012 in which Hedges speaks of instrumental rationality, rule legitimation, and motivation by crisis tendencies in advanced capitalism.

Also, Chris Hedges has an interview on RT which is a good summary of events to date. Chris Hedges on Oligarchy and the Global Collapse

It’s been over a year since Thom Hartmann interviewed Chris Hedges. I remember it as the best interview performance by both Hedges and Hartmann.

What attracts me the most to Chris Hedges and Thom Hartmann’s approach is a strong Existential-Theological perspective that is present in their ethical critiques of capitalism, political life, and cultural values.

Conversations with Great Minds Thom Hartmann talks with Chris Hedges, December 20, 2010.

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Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

It's Neo Conservatism due to the direction of flow.. “We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.”- Bill Clinton

It was the democrats who joined the republicans after Johnson enacted the Civil Rights Act, losing the Dixiecrats to Wallace and then Nixon. Then it was the log cabin gays joining Rayguns. It was the blue dawg democrats leaving when democrats leaned toward the anti war legalization movement. It was Klintoon bombing Kosovo, It was Klintoon writing the Patriot Ax. It was Klintoon busting more for pot possession than Nexxon, Rayguns and HQBoosh combined. It was Al Gore's Occidental Oil reserves under the indian burial grounds sending us into Colombia. Joe Biden lied and failed three times with his bogus testing to finally tack his RAVE AX onto the Amber alert Bill. No change after the retractions stating they switched test materials. Still threatens NORML gatherings with a $250k fine if the audience sparks up. Feinstein is either having an affair with Oral Hatch or her big money nob hill ties makes a good fit. 12 years trying to pass a censorship bill for the internet. It was Klintoon signing the Higher Education Act bastardization written by Marc Souder who helped fund Thailand's anti drug pro slave labor for the trickle down jobs.

A Lie College Students Might Want To Tell
So far, about 190,000 students across the country (and abroad) have told the truth and been denied financial aid. It's impossible to know how many lied and headed off to college, federal aid in hand. Nearly 300,000 student-aid applicants, however, simply ignored the question in 2000-2001, the first school year in which it was asked.
Stop the War on Colombians!

Now Obombo is even more conservative than junior enacting what Klintoon got on the books. How many republicans have gone liberal? Boosh the fiscally liberal, expanded the size of government and ran the deficit up way past any democrat. Since the money was returning to his and his cronies pockets. As far from socially progressive as you can get. No, the Neoconservatudes are the Neo nazi's and the deep south under the banner of the elephant, with no ties. As well as the Klintonian krats have nothing to do with progressives. Both sides use ends justifying means since both sides have merged into the same. World Banks and Multinational corporations have no allegiance to this or any country. The G-20 1% don't even need the middle class consumerism. Building a middle class in China without the nuisance of unions and workers safety. Disposable labor cured that. So toss out the old terms. The media runs on.buzzwords The alphabet channels are controlled by 5 corporations sharing an agenda. You ain't gonna hear it there first. As long as people keep trying to fix the system within the system. We will spin our wheels another century. Buy locally and legalize hemp to create more local jobs. Bypassing wallmart street is our only chance. Irving Kristol was the accredited author of the new band of X liberals. His kid is Bill Kristol and with the heritage foundation invented the war in iraq. As well as perpetuating the Ganjawar and any other cold war they can get their grubby mitts on. Or Mitt their grub on?

The Myth of "Liberal Bias" in the Media

Quite simply, there can be no popular sovereignty without a real belief in the value of government. If government does not assume and carry out public responsibilities, less accountable institutions such as the corporation will do the job in their own self-interest.
Charles Derber, Corporation Nation

The elections are obviously rigged. If you can't disenfranchise a vote, you can hijack it or simply buy it. This nation of apathetic brats and me me me yuppies should face up to the fact that this is nothing new. Just because we finally have a venue to speak out and to hear things not permitted on the cable corps. Doesn't mean we have to roll over and die. Our GDP is still 87 trillion or something. We still have the authority over what we buy most of the time. Buy organic, local and as I said. Hemp takes profits from the Big Ag chemical poisoning of cotton and eliminates the imported crude oil polyfibers from OPEC. The seed is nutritional and grows about anywhere a hungry kid is. Ganja has untold properties to side step the fascist Big Pharma monopoly with free herbal remedies homegrown or locally sold. Legalizing the Ganja will also curtail the Koch Bros private for profit prisons saving another trillion dollars already spent on the Ganjawar alone. Or we can pretend its just a different day and hope we get a lesser evil lesser than the lesser evil we got before. Seems we get lesser lesser evils each time. Like a lesson in speaking out. This is what your reward is,

Cheney's Legacy of Fracking America to Death

Bushit Cheneynagans D.E.A.th & Oil!

Cheney Energy Task Force
"One advocacy group that visited was the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, founded in 1998 by Grover Norquist and Gale A. Norton, who became Bush's first interior secretary. Later, the group was run by Italia Federici, who was involved socially with Steven Griles. Griles, then Norton's deputy at Interior, was recently sentenced to prison for obstructing a Senate investigation of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Judge Orders Cheney to Explain Task Force Secrecy
But the administration has refused to release other details of the task force's operation, such as the names of people it consulted, saying this would harm the president's constitutional right to get candid advice.

Bushit Rumcheney Cocktail:Fascist Nationalism and MKULTRA

Or Obombo grinning knowing we're stuck with him, who ya gonna call? So Neo Liberals are wishful thinking to divert bad press from the neocons more than accurate semantics. Neocons have adapted the big government, big brother liberal stance as long as its taxes for the Military and Prison Industrial complex, not services for the citizens infrastructure or safety nets. Fascism is corporatism is a merger of state and corporate powers. Neocons want planet earth as their country. Mexamericanada is a state and politicians are employees of the corporate government. Disposable tinkle down labor and scabs willing to undercut wages killed the American worker. That in turn is killing the American middle class and soon the American dream most never got to experience. Teabog ditto's sold out their country for an empty promise. ell em what they want to hear, the important goal is to get elected, not get a merit badge for honesty.

Insanity is doing the same old thing
over and over again
and expecting a different result.
~ Albert Einstein,
Bill Clinton, campaign debate, October 11, 1992

The New American Century by Arundhati Roy
(January 22, 2004 (February 9, 2004 issue)
In the great cities of Europe and America, where a few years ago these things would only have been whispered, now people are openly talking about the good side of imperialism and the need for a strong empire to police an unruly world. The new missionaries want order at the cost of justice. Discipline at the cost of dignity. And ascendancy at any price. Occasionally some of us are invited to "debate" the issue on "neutral" platforms provided by the corporate media. Debating imperialism is a bit like debating the pros and cons of rape. What can we say? That we really miss it?
☀Signatories to its statement of principles included future Bush administration officials Elliott Abrams, Dick Cheney, Paula Dobriansky, I. Lewis Libby, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Paul Wolfowitz. Other signatories included Gary Bauer, William Bennett, Jeb Bush, Midge Decter, Frank Gaffney, Norman Podhoretz, Steve Forbes, Eliot Cohen, Fred Ikle, and Dan Quayle.

Pure evil

Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban

Teabaggers to be Subverted into the System; Resistance is Futile

"When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly . . . [However, now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it."
- US President Bill Clinton

Busht: Timeline of Treason

Bushladen and the Terrorists Carlyles Groups

If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution
inhibit the government's ability to govern the people,
we should look to limit those guarantees.
-- President Bill Clinton, August 12, 1993

The Nation of Apathetic Puppets

"To say that the (Bush-Cheney) secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement. I'm anything but skittish about government, but I must say this administration is truly scary and, given the times we live in, frighteningly dangerous."
John Dean - former Nixon White House counsel

Why Do You Think They Call it DOPE?
☀Cannabis Hemp: The Invisible Prohibition Revealed
☀The Elkhorn Manifesto
☀Marijuana and Hemp: The Untold Story
☀The Nation of Apathetic Puppets By John Pilger
☀Maintaining Dysfunction

"Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. ... The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."
-- William F. Buckley,
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

Bush. Religious drug treatment in Texas

Booshammy

Diane Feinstein – the best argument for term limits

The United States can't be so fixed on our desire
to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.
-- Bill Clinton, March 1, 1993,
Boston Globe, 3/2/93, USA Today, 3/11/93

The Business of Prohibition youtube

The War on Drugs Means Big Bucks For Some
POT TV - Where do the billions of dollars spent in the War on Drugs actually go?

Cops Confiscation Maliciously Punished Amputee

L.A. Forfeiture Squads Kill California Millionaire

. . . unfortunately, we can't control the actions of everyone.-- Bill Clinton, April 20, 1993

Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand
by: Chris Hedges Monday 14 March 2011 Truthdig Op-Ed

FAMM Foundation:
November:
F.E.A.R:

Organic aid for cocaine addiction

Cover-Ups, Prevarication's, Subversions & Sabotage

By the time you become the leader of a country, someone else makes all the decisions. You may find you can get away with Virtual Presidents, Virtual Prime Ministers, and Virtual Everything. - Bill Clinton

Clinton Asks Supreme Court To Overturn MMJ Ruling

Clinton Quiet About Own Radical Ties

What can be said about Slick Willy Klintoon?

Neocon Teabogs Really Are "Bloodlusting Terrorists
How Neo-Cons, Neo-Nazis And Neo-McVeighs
Crashed Ron Paul’s Tea Party
The Tea Party, which started off as a Libertarian protest against taxes and government, has turned into a right wing, corporate sponsored, racist hate-fest. Three groups have joined the Libertarian founders of the Tea Party movement to add money, racism, hatred and conspiracy theory based paranoia to the Tea Pot.

the tea party and the neocons
How the Neocons Are Co-opting the Tea Party
Scott McConnell, Right Web, Nov 9 2010

Co-opted Tea Party Event Incorporates Free Speech Zones
by Kurt Nimmo Militant Libertarian April 27th, 2010

Neocon . Neoconservative
Criminally insane spenders that believe in killing brown people for the new world order. Huge Orwellian government, unfathomable amounts of spending, bomb tens of thousands of people to death to rearrange the globe. Take the worst aspects of the liberal and conservative positions and combine them into one and you would have a NeoCon. Neocons are the greatest threat to life, liberty and property this country has ever known. Morally idealistic conservatatives. neocon is short for neo-conservative. Neocons separate themselves from Republicans that are traditionally fiscal conservative.
Paul Wolfowitz * Richard Perle * William Kristol * Norman Podhoretz * Robert Kagan * Charles Krauthammer * Daniel Pipes * Elliott Abrams * Max Boot

Neoconservatism in the United States is a branch of American Conservatism that is most known for its advocacy of using American economic and military power to topple American enemies and promote liberal democracy in other countries. The movement emerged during the early 1970s among Democrats who disagreed with the party's growing opposition to the Vietnam War and had become skeptical of the Great Society's welfare programs.

Neoconservatives rejected the counterculture of the 1960s New Left, and what they saw as anti-Americanism in the non-interventionism of the movement against the Vietnam War. When the anti-war element took control of the party in 1972 and nominated George McGovern, the democrats among them followed the lead of Washington Senator Henry Jackson and revolted.

Many supported Democratic senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson in his unsuccessful 1972 and 1976 campaigns for president. Among those who worked for Jackson were future neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Richard Perle. In the late 1970s neoconservative support moved to Ronald Reagan the Republican hawk who promised to confront Soviet expansionism.

Practice to Deceive
Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan.
The fact that most of the younger neocons were never on the left is irrelevant; they are the intellectual (and, in the case of William Kristol and John Podhoretz, the literal) heirs of older ex-leftists. Michael Lind, a self-described former neoconservative, wrote: During the 1990s, neoconservatives were once again in the opposition side of the foreign policy establishment, both under the Republican Administration of President George H. W. Bush and that of his Democratic successor, President Bill Clinton. Many critics charged that the neoconservatives lost their influence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In the late 1990s Irving Kristol and other writers in neoconservative magazines began touting anti-Darwinist views, in support of intelligent design. Since these neoconservatives were largely of secular backgrounds, a few commentators have speculated that this – along with support for religion generally – may have been a case of a "noble lie", intended to protect public morality, or even tactical politics, to attract religious supporters.

NeoConservatism - Where Trotsky Meets Stalin & Hitler

The Anti-Neocon David Corn July 20, 2005
"I'm the anti-neocon." That's how Robert Merry recently described himself to me. After reading his new book—Sands of Empire: Missionary Zeal, American Foreign Policy, and the Hazards of Global Ambition —I have to say: He got that right. His book is the most scorching mainstream critique of the neocons and their misadventure in Iraq that I have encountered. Merry, the publisher of Congressional Quarterly and a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, rips apart that small band of ideologically driven chickenhawks and leaves their bones scattered on the floor of a Council of Foreign Relations conference room.

"If the people knew what we had done,
they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush to journalist Sarah McClendon

DdC's picture
DdC
Joined:
Mar. 22, 2012 12:39 am

May 30 will be the two year anniversary of this thread Anti. You chose a good title that still has legs. As I said about two years ago, I would simply add a second adjective, making it "Republican and Democratic Neoliberalism is Touching Us All". After all, Woodrow Wilson, who almost singlehandedly kicked off the century's discoveries in the powers of propaganda in a democracy -- a uniquely important feature of oligarchic rule taking over democracies -- was a Democrat. I mean, dare we ignore the Creel Committee and the death of the labor-centered progressive movement it helped bury while his Wilson-picked Committee transformed an anti war public into gaggle of lunatic patriots?

Thanks for the links to Thom's discussions with economists. They weren't too bad. Sometimes people calling themselves economists can say intelligent things. Maybe it's not that obvious but I don't pay much attention to economists these days. The field as a whole has sullied itself irreparably in my assessment. I think anyone within it who has managed to wake up to its glaringly false premises might better switch to a different field, like history, sociology or anthropology. I don't see economics coming to a reckoning of its theoretical premises the way psychology did when Chomsky obliterated the premises of the logical-positivist oriented premises one finds in behaviorism that B.F. Skinner tried to defend, especially as they were applied Nazi-like to language learning (couldn't help putting in a plug for our earlier discussion on this thread and then linking it to Chomsky.)

I mean, Beyond Freedom and Dignity?.... And that too was considered anti-theocratically "progressive" in its day... As one person suggested, reading it: "you might find yourself stepping beyond freedom and dignity toward knowledge and usefulness ... and that may feel like a good thing." Interesting bicameralization, no? Freedom and dignity versus knowledge and usefulness? It's worth reading some of the responses there at Amazon. You will find many of the still accepted premises of logical positivism "conditioned" into those who are in favor of the book's premises. Which gives the whole thing a kind of Catch-22 ludicrousity.

Amazingly Skinner wrote his "beyond freedom" tome roughly ten years after his arguments were destroyed by Chomsky around 1960. It's like they don't learn when they have their pitbull-like teeth sunk deep into something. Fortunately behaviorism's influence within the field was already waning by then. Not that the "science of human behavior" ended, it continues to be applied on a macro level through the field of communications (my Congressional Rep got her degree in that, and she has the broadly smiling visage of an eager used car saleswoman; she's also a Republican, which may not be deterministic, but it's interesting) in moving people with Public Relations propaganda through corporate media messaging. But it is not deterministic and it can be countered in ways behaviorists would never bother to grasp.

Quote Antifascist:

What attracts me the most to Chris Hedges and Thom Hartmann’s approach is a strong Existential-Theological perspective that is present in their ethical critiques of capitalism, political life, and cultural values.

The significance of that to each individual cannot be argued into existence. It can only be individually recognized and embraced. Or they can simply logically tell themselves to go for knowledge and usefulness and ignore it.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

The 25 millisecond stock market:

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Wow. Finally. Someone has made some sense of this fascination with zombies I see all around me these days. Anyone who's familiar with the critical works of Henry A. Giroux knows what a brilliant cultural critic he can be. In his recent book, Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism (Popular Culture and Everyday Life) he unleashes a metaphorical and symbolic analysis of the political and pedagogical conditions of our current state of affairs using the pervasive popularity, even obsession, in our culture for those cuddly zombies. That state of affairs includes "a growing culture of sadism, cruelty, disposability and death in America."

Henry has been named as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period. His most recent, Education and the Crisis of Public Values, (published in July 2011, less than a year after Zombie Politics) offers yet another serving of his insights into a nation of zombies who are further putrefying themselves by destroying their education system, as the nation continues to shift away from democratic public values towards a market-driven mode of education. In the process we witness it creating a system that's changed our nation's teachers from citizens we can admire into objects of humiliation, from valued members of an important institutional feature of democracy to a profession to be shamed and blamed for problems essentially created by the businesses and politicians who they supposedly influence.

And I give you The Powell Doctrine from 1971 as exhibit A for the corporate-organized national zombie "value" drive mounted against the "liberal"-minded educators seen to be endangering our "American Free Enterprise System" (that last from the title of the Powell Doctrine).

Anyone interested in a taste of Zombie Politics can read a two part excerpt published at truthout.org:

Zombie Politics, Democracy, and the Threat of Authoritarianism - Part I

Zombie Politics: Dangerous Authoritarianism or Shrinking Democracy - Part II

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

What does it profit us to "gain the whole world" an lose our soul? I have been pointing to our death and despair entertainment for some time. We do not get stories of real human courage and are loaded up with special effects and gore. We do not question our toxic narrative, but we love to pick at the sores. Simple questions, simple answers and no attention to the complexity and unanticipated consequences. THREATS met by Supermen or androids with powers beyond our puny humanity. Or, just being on the "right side" is enough to take on the hordes, so "keep the faith" in the familiar narrative.

None of this is ever our fault. The system is fine, just needs to be run better. This is Obama's Purple Haze agenda, and a better run empire would be an improvement on Darth and Co. But, it does not address the cold heart of empire and the commodification of humanity under the facade of freedom and democracy.

I am not at all certain anyone we would have been allowed to elect could have done a lot more. We have to do a lot more than elect and hope. We have to be the hope and make the elected do what is real instead of letting the false realities of the illusion persist. I think we need to take the acting out psychotics on the Right more seriously as symptoms of a problem bigger than many have grasped. To expect real change with this much insanity in the room is asking for miracles instead of facing facts.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am

Great article by Henry A. Giroux. There is a audio interview with Giroux embedded in that article also. Giroux writing is a good example of critical theory applied to culture and politics.

Here is a good lecture by Chomsky on education. One hundred and fifty years ago the progressives had a saying summarizing corporate propaganda, “New spirit of the age! Gain wealth, forgetting all but self."

Corporate Attack on Education, Chomsky

Giroux on the Obama Administration:

If Bush’s presidency represented an exceptional anti-democratic moment, it would seem logical that the Obama administration would have examined, condemned, and dismantled policies and practices at odds with the ideals of an aspiring democracy. Unfortunately, such has not been the case under Obama, at least up to this point in his administration. Within the past few years, Obama has moved decidedly to the right, and in doing so has extended some of the worst elements of the counter-terrorism policies of the Bush administration. He has endorsed the use of military commissions, argued for the use of indefinite detention with no charges or legal recourse for Afghan prisoners, extended the USA Patriot Act,[46] continued two wars while expanding the war in Afghanistan, and largely reproduced Bush’s market-driven approach to school reform.[47] As Noam Chomsky points out, Obama has done nothing to alter the power and triumph of financial liberalization in the past thirty years.[48] He bailed out banks and financial investment institutions at the expense of the 26.3 million Americans who are either unemployed or do not have full-time jobs along with the millions who have lost their homes. His chief economic and foreign policy advisors—Tim Geithner, Lawrence Summers, and Robert Gates—represent a continuation of a military and big business orientation that is central to the ideologies and power relations of a undemocratic and increasingly bankrupt economic and political system. While claiming to enact policies designed to reduce the federal deficit, Obama plans to cut many crucial domestic programs while increasing military spending, the intelligence budget, and foreign military aid. Obama has requested a defense budget for 2011 of $708 billion, in addition to calling for $33 billion to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This budget is almost as large as the rest of the entire world’s defense spending combined....

In light of his conservative, if not authoritarian, policies, Obama’s once inspiring call for hope has been reduced to what appears to be simply an empty performance, one that “favours the grand symbolic gesture over deep structural change every time.”[51] What once appeared as inspired rhetoric has largely been reduced to fodder for late-night television comics, while for a growing army of angry voters it has become nothing more than a cheap marketing campaign and disingenuous diversion in support of moneyed interests and power. Obama’s rhetoric of hope is largely contradicted by policies that continue to reproduce a world of egotistic self-referentiality, an insensitivity to human suffering, massive investments in military power, and an embrace of those market-driven values that produce enormous inequalities in wealth, income, and security. There is more at stake here than a politics of misrepresentation and bad faith. There is an invisible register of politics that goes far beyond the contradiction between Obama’s discourse and his right-wing policies. What we must take seriously in Obama’s policies is the absence of anything that might suggest a fundamental power shift away from casino capitalism to policies that would develop the conditions “that miake it possible for ordinary people to better their lives by becoming political beings and by making power responsive to their hopes and needs.”[52] In Obama’s world, cutthroat competition is still the name of the game, and individual choice is still simply about a hunt for bargains. Lost here is any notion of political and social responsibility for the welfare, autonomy, and dignity of all human beings but especially those who are marginalized because they lack food, shelter, jobs, and other crucial basic needs. But then again, this is not Obama’s world; it is a political order and mode of economic sovereignty that has been in the making for quite some time and now shapes practically every aspect of culture, politics, and civic life. In doing so it has largely destroyed any vestige of real democracy in the United States. Zombie Politics Part II.

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That Chomsky talk was right on. It's like a whole bunch of us are now writing pretty much the same narrative. It keeps building and intertwining as we make more connections. Sometimes we are hopeful, sometimes I hear more notes of despair. I can't tell where theirs ends and mine begins. Another good one from Chris Hedges this morning: The People's Bishop

It's been so long since I discovered The Powell Memo and the Trilateral Commission, which I got to through investigating Zbignew Brezinzki, Carter's National Security Adviser and author of The Grand Chessboard, that I don't know who to credit for my discovery of them in all my investigations. All I know for sure is I've been developing a narrative that goes back many years now. And I can at least count my Vietnam experience as a naive young man as the primary watershed event. Nor do I think it matters who. The more people that understand the narrative as their own, the more transparently ignorant the cons coming to this site, spreading that false corporate message of individuality that we are all on our own and deserve to die if we are not the super elite, the stronger we will be when the shit hits the fan. Here's a little from another in this grand narrative this morning from tomdispatch.com:

Epistle to the Ecotopians
By Ernest Callenbach

[This document was found on the computer of Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012) after his death.]

As I survey my life, which is coming near its end, I want to set down a few thoughts that might be useful to those coming after. It will soon be time for me to give back to Gaia the nutrients that I have used during a long, busy, and happy life. I am not bitter or resentful at the approaching end; I have been one of the extraordinarily lucky ones. So it behooves me here to gather together some thoughts and attitudes that may prove useful in the dark times we are facing: a century or more of exceedingly difficult times.

How will those who survive manage it? What can we teach our friends, our children, our communities? Although we may not be capable of changing history, how can we equip ourselves to survive it?

I contemplate these questions in the full consciousness of my own mortality. Being offered an actual number of likely months to live, even though the estimate is uncertain, mightily focuses the mind. On personal things, of course, on loved ones and even loved things, but also on the Big Picture.

But let us begin with last things first, for a change. The analysis will come later, for those who wish it.

Hope. Children exude hope, even under the most terrible conditions, and that must inspire us as our conditions get worse. Hopeful patients recover better. Hopeful test candidates score better. Hopeful builders construct better buildings. Hopeful parents produce secure and resilient children. In groups, an atmosphere of hope is essential to shared successful effort: “Yes, we can!” is not an empty slogan, but a mantra for people who intend to do something together -- whether it is rescuing victims of hurricanes, rebuilding flood-damaged buildings on higher ground, helping wounded people through first aid, or inventing new social structures (perhaps one in which only people are “persons,” not corporations). We cannot know what threats we will face. But ingenuity against adversity is one of our species’ built-in resources. We cope, and faith in our coping capacity is perhaps our biggest resource of all.

Mutual support. The people who do best at basic survival tasks (we know this experimentally, as well as intuitively) are cooperative, good at teamwork, often altruistic, mindful of the common good. In drastic emergencies like hurricanes or earthquakes, people surprise us by their sacrifices -- of food, of shelter, even sometimes of life itself. Those who survive social or economic collapse, or wars, or pandemics, or starvation, will be those who manage scarce resources fairly; hoarders and dominators win only in the short run, and end up dead, exiled, or friendless. So, in every way we can we need to help each other, and our children, learn to be cooperative rather than competitive; to be helpful rather than hurtful; to look out for the communities of which we are a part, and on which we ultimately depend.

Practical skills. With the movement into cities of the U.S. population, and much of the rest of the world’s people, we have had a massive de-skilling in how to do practical tasks. When I was a boy in the country, all of us knew how to build a tree house, or construct a small hut, or raise chickens, or grow beans, or screw pipes together to deliver water. It was a sexist world, of course, so when some of my chums in eighth grade said we wanted to learn girls’ “home ec” skills like making bread or boiling eggs, the teachers were shocked, but we got to do it. There was widespread competence in fixing things -- impossible with most modern contrivances, of course, but still reasonable for the basic tools of survival: pots and pans, bicycles, quilts, tents, storage boxes.

We all need to learn, or relearn, how we would keep the rudiments of life going if there were no paid specialists around, or means to pay them. Every child should learn elementary carpentry, from layout and sawing to driving nails. Everybody should know how to chop wood safely, and build a fire. Everybody should know what to do if dangers appear from fire, flood, electric wires down, and the like. Taking care of each other is one practical step at a time, most of them requiring help from at least one other person; survival is a team sport.

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Ren, wrote,

That Chomsky talk was right on. It's like a whole bunch of us are now writing pretty much the same narrative. It keeps building and intertwining as we make more connections. Sometimes we are hopeful, sometimes I hear more notes of despair. I can't tell where theirs ends and mine begins.

Isn't that the truth! Henry A. Giroux's article seemed to cover everything! It was as if he absorbed all the progressive themes from all the articles and books written in the recent years and put it all down systematically. I have been listening to Chomsky’s lectures on youtube, even the hour and a half lectures on language theory, and heard many of Giroux and Chomsky themes overlap.

Both noted how Americans are de-politicized—they know nothing about politics. Chomsky used the example of when American waged a war on Christianity in Latin American and the students from our “School of Americas” murdered the Catholic Archbishop Óscar Romero on 24 March 1980, and again on November 1989 murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter at the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” in El Salvador . Also, Chomsky notes the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 1973 on Chile by the United States in which thousands were killed and tortured.

Take for example the elections in the Eurozone. The mainstream media news clownshows barely covered the most important European elections since the Eurozone crisis Greek financial meltdown. Almost a media blackout, no discussion of their significance, not even a general description of the candidates in France, Greece, and Germany. Yes, this weekend was “Super Sunday” in which France, Greece and Germany held elections on the same day. You would think it would be important. Well, guess what? Greece threw out the incumbents! Rejected austerity. France threw out the incumbents! Rejected austerity. Socialist François Hollande said “My enemy is the world of finance.” Hey, Francios! They are my enemy also! I wonder if that is why the media ignored this election. Reporter, Helena Smith (in Greece not America, we don’t have reporters in America) wrote, “Greek TV channels are reporting that the country's electoral earthquake has been met with "stunned silence" by officials at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. "Our sources at the fund are telling us they had no idea of the extent of the anger and anti-austerity feeling in Greece. They are amazed," said Alpha TV's Washington correspondent.”

Wall Street is so scared that it is peeing on itself. The manipulated Dow Jones logarithms read the words “France” and “Socialist” and triggered a dip in the early morning market to express the ruling class displeasure but immediately returned to back to the 13,000 programmed level to keep the 14% of real human beings in the Dow Jones market. Computers do 86% of the trading in the stock market. It is a rig job just painting numbers on the Dow Jones: a few people can push the market up or down on demand.

Oh, and where is the London Stock Exchange this morning? How is it reacting? It’s closed for a holiday. Okay. Wait! What holiday? The early May holiday. LOL. They mean the Eurozone Super Sunday Election Day Holiday? It’s a FLOATING HOLIDAY! It’s all MOTHER FUCKING BULLSHIT! Britain is falling into depression and can’t even have it markets open on a European election day. People, I mean real people investors, with retirement funds are gong to be slaughtered by the market like goats at a Greek wedding. The bond traders are pounding Greek bonds to punish them for daring to refuse to pay their Mafia debts.

The euro tumbled, as analysts worried that Hollande's victory over Sarkozy could mean a less united Europe. Spanish and Italian bond yields are going up again while ten-year Greek yields have hit 23.5% - compared with just 1.58% for the German equivalent amid a flight to safety.

Analysts at Citigroup have raised the likelihood of Greece leaving the eurozone in the next year and a half to 75%. The head of the EFSF bailout fund Klaus Regling warned this would be a "catastrophe".

The New York NYMEX Mafia ran metals market pushed silver and gold down to hide the tsunami of economic destruction coming our way, but the metals jumped right back up. With the collapse of the Eurozone--don’t be fooled America is up to its ass in European derivatives and has been loaning untold trillions to the European banks behind the scene--gold and silver are going for the stratosphere as people figure out how manupulated the markets are.

American plutocrary is too fearful to cover anything that might look like democracy and that is why you will only see "Dancing with the Stars" on the news programs. Media Blackout of French election of Hollande:

Place De La Bastille May 6, 2012.

La Bastille celebration.

La Bastille video

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The People’s Bishop by Chris Hedges.

Bishop George Packard

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I'll have some of that Hollande Daze on my fresh green asparagus. Gotta' love those real Socialists for revealing how far from anything like it we have on our menu. You can get a Double Whopper from the Flipper and Floppers, and you can Souflee Financeer--all fluff and no substance. But something real and delicious from the earth! Tastes good on eggs too.

What I love is that these guys are surprised, even "shocked" to discover that austerity is not selling. The seem not to have a clue about how irrelevant they are if we do not believe in them, so they act as if nobody in their right minds would ever call their bluff. They have even forgotten that they were bluffing, having convinced themselves that the magic was real.

It has taken a secular religion to create the narrative frame and "tent" to unite the American pathologies into a powerful delusion. Those who call for a "Christian America" are a sideshow to those who have established the American Empire, both a destined power "chosen" by Providence and/or "evolution," and the model of "freedom." Wall St. and the Pentagon have little interest in whether Mormons are Christians. We are the "New Rome," the imperial force for good around the world. Our god may be willing to sleep with your god, but only on top.

Are we "exceptional?" Does loving America mean that we have to think it is the very best country ever in the history of the world? Or even that it is doing ok instead of being a total jerk?

The signs of hope are best shared and tasted. We are not confined to the duopoly or the Wall St. 'consensus.' There are places where the bluff is being called and where they are doing fine telling the banksters where to put their collection notices. The financialists have every reason to be afraid, but even more reason to get more before the getting goes away. They still don't get it. It is only money, not real wealth. As David Korten tells us, "we don't need Wall St." Nor do we need an empire. If we listen to something outside of America, we can get over the idea that this is all about us even if we are the "star" of the show.

Can I have that Hollande Daze on salmon?

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Quote Antifascist:

The People’s Bishop by Chris Hedges.

Bishop George Packard

Thanks for linking Hedges' essay to that youtube video. I was thinking of my own roots to Vietnam while I wrote my post yesterday simply because I had read that article about him. That's one of the ways sharing experience works. My experiences were not nearly so deeply traumatic to the soul as the Bishop recalled his to be. I knew going in I wasn't going to kill anyone and I was able to avoid it. Sometimes that does mean going to jail, but at that point you know it's their jail and you are free even locked in a cell, while the jailers are not. Bishop Packard shows us that It's never too late to recover one's humanity.

Too many people are afraid of their own humanity. That's one of the core fears I see instilled by an industrial system that preys on our individuality. The result of that fear is an existential problem. I believe Sartre termed it mauvaise foi; in English that's "bad faith". I'm also inclined to see a relationship between mauvaise foi and 'false consciousness', which is something that at least some of us who rebel against the industrialization of humans see ourselves up against on a mass level. I believe that connects to your post, too, drc.

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Some favorite quotes from Chris Hedges' article last April 30, 2012.

Hedges: How Our Demented Capitalist System Made America Insane

By Chris Hedges

[Snipped...]When the most basic elements that sustain life are reduced to a cash product, life has no intrinsic value. The extinguishing of “primitive” societies, those that were defined by animism and mysticism, those that celebrated ambiguity and mystery, those that respected the centrality of the human imagination, removed the only ideological counterweight to a self-devouring capitalist ideology....

Seventeenth century European philosophy and the Enlightenment, meanwhile, exalted the separation of human beings from the natural world, a belief also embraced by the Bible. The natural world, along with those pre-modern cultures that lived in harmony with it, was seen by the industrial society of the Enlightenment as worthy only of exploitation.Descartes argued, for example, that the fullest exploitation of matter to any use was the duty of humankind....

The conflation of technological advancement with human progress leads to self-worship. Reason makes possible the calculations, science and technological advances of industrial civilization, but reason does not connect us with the forces of life. A society that loses the capacity for the sacred, that lacks the power of human imagination, that cannot practice empathy, ultimately ensures its own destruction....

The anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan, who in 1846 was “adopted” by the Seneca, one of the tribes belonging to the Iroquois confederation, wrote in “Ancient Society” about social evolution among American Indians. Marx noted approvingly, in his “Ethnological Notebooks,” Morgan’s insistence on the historical and social importance of “imagination, that great faculty so largely contributing to the elevation of mankind.” Imagination, as the Shakespearean scholar Harold C. Goddard pointed out, “is neither the language of nature nor the language of man, but both at once, the medium of communion between the two. ... Imagination is the elemental speech in all senses, the first and the last, of primitive man and of the poets.”

All that concerns itself with beauty and truth, with those forces that have the power to transform us, is being steadily extinguished by our corporate state. Art. Education. Literature. Music. Theater. Dance. Poetry. Philosophy. Religion. Journalism. None of these disciplines are worthy in the corporate state of support or compensation. These are pursuits that, even in our universities, are condemned as impractical. But it is only through the impractical, through that which can empower our imagination, that we will be rescued as a species. The prosaic world of news events, the collection of scientific and factual data, stock market statistics and the sterile recording of deeds as history do not permit us to understand the elemental speech of imagination. We will never penetrate the mystery of creation, or the meaning of existence, if we do not recover this older language. Poetry shows a man his soul, Goddard wrote, “as a looking glass does his face.” And it is our souls that the culture of imperialism, business and technology seeks to crush...

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Yahoo! Chris Hedges alert! Interview with Thom Hartmann!

Chris Hedges - Why OWS Frightens the Corporate Elite

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It's good to reapeat important messages, and it's not like Chris says anything dramatically new in this latest interview with Thom. He is once again being both descriptive and predictive, but it isn't like people aren't getting it, at least in a general way.

Which brings me to ask, if you wanted to discredit this very serious and well researched message Chris offers, how would you go about it?

I actually think that's as important to understand as the repeated message. Because if any action to counter elite power is to be democratically based, people are going to have to become sophisticated about the way idea manipulation gets employed on them so they can at least figure out why they need to get out and Occupy with the rest of us.

I guess I'm saying, yes, the corporate elite may be frightened of the potential of the Occupy movement. But they are likely not laying down to let it roll over them, either. So, if they want to derail that potential, what might be their strategy(s)? Are we seeing any evidence of anything other than the expected coercive preparations? Maybe even right here on Thom's board?

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Ren wrote...

I guess I'm saying, yes, the corporate elite may be frightened of the potential of the Occupy movement. But they are likely not laying down to let it roll over them, either. So, if they want to derail that potential, what might be their strategy(s)? Are we seeing any evidence of anything other than the expected coercive preparations? Maybe even right here on Thom's board?

The key resource the power elite has is a cooperative media. The media are able to blackout the opposition and amplify their counter insurgency propaganda: old tools but ramped up to a higher degree. The flood gates of money extracted from the middle class from oil prices, Wall Street skimming, and years of taxpayer money are now redirected back at us. Again, same utilization of economic administrative systems, ideology-generating mechanisms, pseudo-democratic mechanisms, and pseudo-compromises, but focused on suppressing any collective counter action. Our own energy is turned against us. Three arguments are used by the right-wing to argue ideology.

The Perversity Thesis states government action only serves to exacerbate the problem being addressed;
The Futility Thesis holds that attempts at social policy will simply fail to solve the problem;
The Jeopardy Thesis argues that the cost of the proposed change or reform is too high and will lead to disaster.

Richard Lichtman spoke in a recent lecture at Berkeley about the rise of corporations, ruling-class ideology, and how any resistance is neutralized. An inversion has occurred in which corporations have the rights of people and people are objects, or mere appendages of the corporations. Lichtman quotes Marx:

“there came a time at last when what all that these men had looked upon as inalienable became an object of exchange, of trade, from which they would be estranged. It is the time when the same things which until then were communicated, exchanged, bartered; supplied but never sold; acquired but never bought-virtue, love, opinion, science, conscience, etc.-where everything will at last pass into commerce. It is the time of general corruption, of universal venality, or, speaking in political economic terms, the time when everything, spiritual or physical, having become market value, is carried to the market to be appreciated for its fair value.” The Poverty of Philosophy.

And then Lichtman quotes Alexis de Tocqueville who wrote after returning from the United States in 1831:

"I see an innumerable crowd of similar and equal men who compete among themselves to procure small and vulgar pleasures." (Démocratie, II 4.6)...kind of servitude, ordered, mild and peaceable (...), a singular power, tutelary, all-encompassing, [acting through] a system of complicated minor rules, miniscule and uniform, which do not break the spirit but soften it, bend and direct it; it rarely forces action, but continually sets up resistance to action; it does not destroy, but prevents birth; it does not tyrannize, but inhibits, compromises, enervates, subdues, stupefies, and ends by reducing each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid, industrious animals of whom the government is the shepherd." (Démocratie, II 4.6).”

That is where we are now.

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Yes, indeed. I'm watching it. Some of it's taking place right here.

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The Fine Art of Political Backstabbing

Today, in Wisconsin, in the massive Recall Governor Walker campaign, following FDR’s betrayal scenario almost exactly to the letter, President Obama is back-stabbing progressive Democrats by refusing to say a single word against the ultra-reactionary, union-busting, social-services-slashing Walker, a way far out Republican financed by the sinister billionaires the Koch brothers.

Obama is afraid or unwilling to come to Wisconsin to back up his most fervent supporters. With only a little more time to go, in a finely balanced contest, with the Republicans outspending progressives 20-to-one, Obama’s Democratic National Committee stubbornly refuses to invest a penny in the battle to unseat Walker.

This is kamikaze politics. A Walker victory would be a disaster for Democrats nationally. If a grass-roots movement like the citizen Recallers manage to dump Walker it could be the start of a liberal-progressive rollback all across the country.

What’s the problem for the suicide-bent Democrats at the top of the Obama machine?

It’s very late in the day. Recalling Walker could still win if, for example, Obama got off his duff, laid aside his beloved bomber jacket, and came to Milwaukee to get out the inner-city black vote that could make all the difference. A lot of Wisconsin blacks and other “minorities” don’t like the current Democratic nominee, former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barratt, because they bitterly recall a vaguely racist campaign he ran against the then-incumbent African American mayor. Obama lifting a finger in Milwaukee could tip the recall. He won’t.

“Catfood Clinton" rides again—at a Pete Peterson summit to kill Social Security

Wealth inequity is not a by-product — it's the goal.

If you read here regularly, you know that Pete Peterson, the crazed billionaire who lives, breathes, eats and ... well ... to take down Social Security — a man who has spent a half billion dollars on that soulless psychopathic project — just held a Washington DC "summit" aimed at killing what he loves to hate.

Your safety net.

Granny needs some catfood in her diet, because U.S. income inequity hasn't topped out yet. There's still room on the upside.

The news — at that "summit" spoke the Big Dog himself, "Catfood Bill" Clinton (h/t Digby for the quote and for leaning on this hard):

“Our party’s problem is, we are always reluctant to give up the gains of the past to create the future,” Bill Clinton told the audience at the Pete Peterson’s fiscal summit. “Democrats are reluctant to commit to longer-term health-care savings; they don’t want to touch Social Security.”

That's all you need to know. What Digby said: "I think it's going to happen this time."

Who's helping make it happen? How about Nancy Pelosi? How about"your" Progressive Congressional Caucus?

Yes, these loveable madcaps are rumoring it about (I have grapevine ears) that they're really playing some super-smart chess of their own — acing the Republicans at their own game (wink wink).

I agree — this is what they want us to think they're doing. This may even be what they do think they're doing. But that doesn't make it what they really are doing.

What they really are doing is adding their voices to the roar for "entitlement reform." And doing it rather well, thank you.

How's this for entitlement reform:

You're not entitled to the name "progressive" unless you act like one.

Is that wrong? Prove it wrong. With deeds.

Action opportunity — I still like freeway blogging in Pelosi's district. It's cheap, and a determined, persistent bunch of self-enabling progressives can maybe make some noise. Besides, the "ex-liberal" slogans just write themselves. Here's a few:

"Ex-liberal Nancy Pelosi supports Catfood for Granny. Thanks, Nancy."

"Nancy stands with Steny — Let's reduce Social Security benefits just as soon as we're safely re-elected."

Or more playfully:

"Nancy & Steny, sitting in a tree
Killing Social Secur-i-ty"

I'd add a little picture to that last one. Might make the news.

How bad does gavel-ready Nancy need to keep her fundraising "brand" — the thing she wants you to think she is? You could find out. There are lots of ways to de-brand progressives who act badly.

Remember — you don't need permission to act. Just think it through first — find the leverage points (like branding), don't be violent, and press. (Joe Sudbay did just that at the 2010 Blogger Roundtable. All it takes is courage and action.)

And finally, a little video for your midnight freakout fun. Here's Catfood Clinton and BFF Paul Ryan, another "summit" featured speaker, fixing to fix you good. Hands across the aisle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aOrSURZKrcw

from Clinton here.

And here's our "fierce defender" — winner of the 2008 presidential ad campaign — perhaps making plans for the looming lame duck session:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P-5Y74FrDCc

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If only this was news.

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Newt Gingrich Warns Team Obama Against Attacking Mitt Romney's Bain Capital Record

Speaking somewhat candidly about his own campaign's failures, Gingrich said he was "surprised" that Obama had taken the Bain Capital route after witnessing the backlash that met the former speaker when he went down a similar path.

LOL! Gingrich was giving an anti-Republican argument to a Republican audience.

Of course there was a backlash from Republicans in the Republican Primaries because Bain is proof that the “job creators” are really the job destroyers and bring attention to the real players in Leveraged Buyouts, called Private Equities now days, to hide the destructive nature of these corporate raids that went on for years in the Reagan1980s before the public caught on that these business failures were not the result of normal business cycles, but deliberately engineered with the help of the banks.

This history of LBOs is lethal to all the economic arguments the Republicans Neo-Liberal economic apologists have to offer...for example the roll of debt. Romney and the Republicans are always arguing about debt yet bank debt is the primary weapon of finance capitalism to strip assets from industrial capitalism. Bain Capital is the classic example of a hyper-financialized company engaging in predatory finance to de-industrialize the economy by loading profitable corporations down with unnecessary predatory extractive debt in the form of bank interest paid into debt service. Romney and Bain could not strip income and assets from targeted companies without the willingness of banks to provide predatory loans.

LBOs, or Private Equities are the conduit through which an extractive banking system can generate unearned income by saddling companies with bank interest payments, and financial fees. This extractive economic rent increases production cost in the form of debt service payments beyond the necessary cost of production. Bain Capital is not interested in industrial capitalism, but finance capitalism for redirecting all surplus income to paying debt service and causing debt deflation, i.e. surplus income and profits drop because more and more income has to be redirected to paying economic rent in the from of interest payments. The goal of the financial sector is to burden the real economy with unearned incremental rent cost for low tax capital gain trading (15% rate) instead of investing into productive capital equipment.

Vulture companies like Bain Capital allow the banks to engaged in predatory extractive debt loading which add unnecessary costs to production. For Bain and the creditor class wealth is the interest-bearing capacity of an asset (factory assets)—to them debt is wealth in the form rent and interest payments instead of capital investment in the fundamental economic cycle of industrial production and consumption.

A free market is a market free from of unearned economic rent, debt service payments, financial fees, monopoly rent, and resource rent. Romney's Bain Capital, and for that matter JP Morgan, represent all of these unnecessary production costs and is responsible for the de-industrialization of America.

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Free Market Capitalism! LOL!!! How about Muppet Capitalism.

Rick Ackerman about market making, high frequency trading, flash crashes, deflation and hyperinflation.

25% of JP Morgan’s earnings tied directly to market manipulation

Ned Naylor-Leyland about the silver, gold, backwardation, manipulation and more.

MF Global and the great Wall St re-hypothecation scandal

Reggie Middleton on Market Manipulation and JP Morgan's Free Money.

Facebook Bankers Secretly Cut Facebook’s Revenue Estimates In Middle Of IPO Roadshow-Muppet Bait.

Heist of the century: Wall Street's role in the financial crisis

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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Is this neoliberalism on steroids, Anti, or is it something beyond the free market credo?

We've been discussing the ontology of logical positivism on this thread for two years. Does that severely rationalistic perspective necessarily result in this financial market behavior or is this something deeply sinister that's escaped? I think the former. I think when you forget your humanity and behave in this commodified, objectified manner, the principles of self-centeredness lauded by liberatarians and Ayn Rand proponants (sometimes they disclaim each other) lead to whatever opportunism the clever minds involved can discover.

Hedge funds were the logical, unfettered, unregulated result of that opportunity seeking. And to get to the Hedge fund hustle that's been bringing down the U.S. economy required a private sector collaboration with the politicians who were needed to unchain and the self-aggrandizing spirit of the überwealthy (Rand's Atlas) that had been captured and chained with legal guidelines like Glass Steagall during the Thirties.

Whatever it is, it's touching us all, and we can see it in the usual hypocrisy of the presidential election shoot out.

Here are the concluding paragraphs of an article that describes our current binary conundrum in the two party choices for President this time around. There is indeed some small difference between the two candidates, but only in the bases of their parties, and the response they must make to that base:

Do the Bain Hustle

Quote Robert Sheer:

Indeed, what is surprising is not that Democrats like Booker are on the take from the hedge funds, as Obama himself has been, but rather that the president has dared to criticize those who have been so supportive of his campaigns.

Although Obama is to be applauded for questioning Romney’s legacy, his motives seem to be as opportunistic as those of Romney’s opponents in the Republican primaries who took the same tack. After all, Obama has had three years to regulate the unbridled power of private equity funds and he has done nothing in that regard. The president chose as his key economic adviser Lawrence Summers, who was paid $4.5 million as a consultant to the D.E. Shaw hedge fund while counseling then-candidate Obama.

Then there’s Rahm Emanuel, who was appointed Obama’s chief of staff despite the fact that his rise to power as an Illinois congressman was financed by Magnetar Capital, a hedge fund that had trafficked in subprime mortgage-backed securities. Emanuel’s replacement as chief of staff was no improvement. William M. Daley was paid $5 million a year by JPMorgan Chase—not a hedge fund, but a financial institution that has proved to be no less reckless and exploitative in its banking practices.

The point is not that the Democrats are virtuous— they are not. The power of finance capital has corrupted both parties ever since Bill Clinton collaborated with the Republicans in Congress to reverse the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the last truly great president of either party. The difference is that the Democrats must still respond to the demands of the party’s base for a modicum of economic justice for those who are hurting most. With the selection of hedge fund grifter Romney, the Republicans are now irredeemably defined as the party of the rapacious plutocrats.

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.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am
Is this neoliberalism on steroids, Anti, or is it something beyond the free market credo?

Actually, the Pirate Equities business model has been around for sometime.

Bain Capital Explained By Tony Soprano (VIDEO)

Neo-liberalism’s theoretical scientific-technological obsession is paralleled with an ethos of nihilistic subjectivism and advantage-oriented life style within the moral-practical sphere of life resulting in a rational devaluation of values that is only concerned with the deployment of means. These bureaucratic administrative corporate entities are unlike post WWII classical managerial capitalism engaged in useful production and consumption. They are instead only concerned with functional goals regardless of their effect on society as a whole. Instrumental rationality is “a form of reason that is irrational in that it is concerned only with the efficient deployment of means.

This mechanistic epistemology is the core of inverted totalitarianism that relies more on indifference and false consciousness than on the use of overt violence. Richard Lichtman recounts (at 32 minutes into audio) how the integration economics, science, and politics formed this new style of State power in the career of Robert McNamara who from the Harvard business school developed statistical techniques of system analysis for the War Department as managerial tools for controlling large organizations, developed flight patterns for B-29 bombing runs in WWII, was the general manger of Ford Motor Company, and the Secretary of Defense for John F. Kennedy. Lichtman quoted Henry Kissenger says, “Things are done because one knows how to do them.” Technology and administrative managerial skills are integrated with corporatist power to do what needs to be done and this is of course decided by a bureaucratic oligarchy.

So unlike traditional totalitarian states that just shutdown media companies to censor reporting of the oligarchy’s activities, they are instead merged and saddled with debt that eventually bankrupts them so as to leave only compliant newspapers to disseminate the accepted narrative of private-state interests. Roving corporate entities search for municipalities to bribe them into acquiring massive bank debt for building unneeded multimillion dollar sports stadium from which banks can extract surplus revenues for decades while schools, hospitals, and transportations systems go broke. Pirate equities provide the consumer with services whether they want them or not.

Dental Abuse Seen Driven By Private Equity Investments

Antifascist's picture
Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I guess it is just the right to make money as the ultimate expression of human freedom. Golly gee, I hope this works out well.

drc2
Joined:
Apr. 26, 2012 11:15 am
Quote Antifascist (the only real Anti on the board):

Actually, the Pirate Equities business model has been around for sometime.

Bain Capital Explained By Tony Soprano (VIDEO)

Thank you thank you thank you. I needed a good laugh. I didn't get my laugh until I did a search to find out who Tony Soprano was. Remember, I threw a baseball bat through Nixon's face after I got back from 'Nam and I have yet to replace the television it was talking on. I have no problem correlating global neoliberalism with the mob. Or is that da Mob.

And yes, inverted totalitarianism is working overtime through this methodology. People are trapped in their debt and the greedy ones are forking up huge profits from their untouchable perches, protected by all the muscle they control. And there are these poor confused individuals that think the whole thing is bult in a berg.

Quote Antifascist:

This mechanistic epistemology is the core of inverted totalitarianism that relies more on indifference and false consciousness than on the use of overt violence. Richard Lichtman recounts (at 32 minutes into audio) how the integration economics, science, and politics formed this new style of State power in the career of Robert McNamara who from the Harvard business school developed statistical techniques of system analysis for the War Department as managerial tools for controlling large organizations, developed flight patterns for B-29 bombing runs in WWII, was the general manger of Ford Motor Company, and the Secretary of Defense for John F. Kennedy. Lichtman quoted Henry Kissenger says, “Things are done because one knows how to do them.” Technology and administrative managerial skills are integrated with corporatist power to do what needs to be done and this is of course decided by a bureaucratic oligarchy.

Unfortunately there is probably only a tiny percentage of the population of this planet who can decode that paragraph. Fortunately for me I can. It's a great paragraph.

I wish I could find all my posts but I said something very similar about inverted totalitarianism very recently. I'm not complaining but this board could be better.

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.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 6:50 am

What Horrible Right-wing (or Criminal) Cause Is Your Favorite Sports Team Connected To?

Franchise owners have relations to organized crime, government surveillance, deep-pocketed political entities and financial irregularities that bilked people out of billions.

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Antifascist
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

United States Government is now a day trader. While JP Morgan is losing billions on a bad tail end index spread trade, the media is temporarily focused on regulating bank speculation. You would think a Democratic Administration that ran a populist campaign on “Change” would take advantage of the timing to push for reform of Wall Street. Instead Obama praises Jamie Dimon as one of Wall Street’s smartest bankers. But what has the Obama administration actually done? Warn JP Morgan that they are not going to get bailed out of bad bets? ...Just the opposite:

Wall Street Journal says Comex has been classified as 'too big to fail'

From the Wall Street JournalThursday, May 24, 2012

...Little noticed is that on Tuesday Team Obama took its first formal steps toward putting taxpayers behind Wall Street derivatives trading -- not behind banks that might make mistakes in derivatives markets, but behind the trading itself. Yes, the same crew that rails against the dangers of derivatives is quietly positioning these financial instruments directly above the taxpayer safety net...

Specifically, the law authorizes the Federal Reserve to provide "discount and borrowing privileges" to clearinghouses in emergencies. Traditionally the ability to borrow from the Fed's discount window was reserved for banks, but the new law made clear that a clearinghouse receiving assistance was not required to "be or become a bank or bank holding company." To get help, they only needed to be deemed "systemically important" by the new Financial Stability Oversight Council chaired by the Treasury Secretary....

We're told that the clearinghouses of Chicago's CME Group and Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange were voted systemic this week, and rumor has it that the council may even designate London-based LCH.Clearnet as critical to the U.S. financial system.

U.S. taxpayers thinking that they couldn't possibly be forced to stand behind overseas derivatives trading will not be comforted by remarks from Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler. On Monday he emphasized his determination to extend Dodd-Frank derivatives regulation to overseas markets when subsidiaries of U.S. firms are involved...

So instead of stopping Wall Street from engaging in risky derivative market bets, the Obama administration is telling Wall Street the US taxpayer is here to back up your bets right up to the trading desk!!! The administration says one thing but does another. JP Morgan isn’t going to stop gambling if they are assured by the Obama administration that their bets are covered.

Even worse, the betting insurance extends to the mafia ran Chicago Comex ! This is a rigged commodities market subject to nake short selling and High Frequency trading that speculates on energy, metals, and food. Some commodities they jack up like oil and food, and some they smash down like precious metals that compete with the paper stock market. Well, the Obama administration just told them “We got you covered.” Have you heard this new policy in the mainstream media?

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Antifascist
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Currently Chatting

The Death of the Middle Class was by Design...

Even in the face of the so-called Recovery, poverty and inequality are getting worse in our country, and more wealth and power is flowing straight to the top. According to Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, this is the end result of winner-take-all capitalism, and this destruction of the working class has all been by design.

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