Guest Post by Patrick J. Buchanan
Monday, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosted a spirited discussion with Donald Trump on whether he was right in asserting that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated as the towers came down on 9/11.
About Muslim celebrations in Berlin, however, there appears to be no doubt. In my chapter “Eurabia,” in “State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America,”  is this quote from The New York Times Magazine, exactly 10 years ago.
“Parallel to the declarations of ‘unconditional solidarity’ with Americans by the German majority, rallies of another sort were taking place in Neukolln and Kreuzberg. Bottle rockets were set off from building courtyards, a poor man’s fireworks, sporadic, sparse and joyful; two rockets here, three rockets there. Still, altogether, hundreds of rockets were shooting skyward in celebration of the attack, as most Berliners were searching for words to express their horror.”
Neukolln and Kreuzberg are neighborhoods of “gastarbeiters,” Muslim Turkish workers who came to Germany in the millions to work in menial jobs beginning around 1960.
“Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness.”
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
“I see dead people. Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.”
Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense
“The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love…
What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
“Every century is like every other, and to those who live in it seems worse than all times before it… thus much of comfort do we gain from what has been hitherto, not to despond, not to be dismayed, not to be anxious, at the troubles which encompass us. They have ever been; they ever shall be; they are our portion.”
John H. Newman
I take no part in this made up bullshit. Black Friday was a disaster for retailers. Small business Saturday was surely a bust, as there are virtually no small businesses left. Now the hoopla for cyber-Monday, as if you won’t be able to buy anything on-line at any time for a low price. It’s all a joke. Retail sales will be terrible this year, as the ongoing recession deepens.
So on that note, don’t forget to use my Amazon Button on the right side of the page if you are going to buy shit you don’t need. TBP will get 6% of every transaction.
For those who block the ads and don’t see the Amazon button, here is the link:
Guest Post by Claire Bernish
(ANTIMEDIA) Sunday marked the end of the NSA’s highly contentious bulk data collection program, as widely reported by corporate media outlets. But for all intents and purposes, as the USA Freedom Act kicked off in its place on Sunday, this termination was a purely hollow, symbolic gesture.
As Edward Snowden revealed two years ago, the National Security Agency implemented a program to vacuum up the metadata of essentially all domestic communications in the U.S. by liberally interpreting controversial provisions in the USA Patriot Act — which federal courts have since found unconstitutional. Under the transparent guise of fighting terrorism, the NSA argued in court its justification for casting such a broad net; but after an earlier reversal, District Court Judge Richard Leon ripped into the program in an epicly caustic ruling in favor of civilians.
But if you think for a second the NSA would actually cease such paranoid spying on the U.S. populace, you might not know much about the Freedom Act. Whomever claims responsibility for naming these programs clearly does so with a snide irony only the government could be capable of; whatever the moniker, it’s usually safe to assume the opposite is true — and the Freedom Act is no exception.
Sure, massive amounts of data are no longer being collected — by the NSA. That’s because now, telecommunications corporations have simply taken over where the government left off. To wit, as Bernard E. Harcourt penned yesterday in The Chronicle of Higher Education:
If we define Christmas as consumer spending going up while earnings are going down, 2015 will be the last Christmas in America for a long time to come. In broad brush, Christmas (along with all other consumer spending) has been funded by financialization, i.e. debt and leverage, not by increased earnings.
The primary financial trick that’s propped up the “recovery” for seven years is piling more debt on stagnating incomes. How does this magic work? Lower interest rates.
In a healthy economy, households earn more money (after adjusting for inflation, a.k.a. loss of purchasing power), and the increased earnings enable households to save, spend and borrow more.
In an unhealthy, doomed-to-implode economy, earnings are declining, and central banks enable more borrowing by lowering interest rates to zero and loosening lending standards so anyone who can fog a mirror can buy a new pickup truck with a subprime auto loan.
The problem with financialization is that it eventually runs out of oxygen. As earnings decline, eventually there’s no more income to support more debt. And once debt stops expanding, the economy doesn’t just stagnate, it implodes, because the entire ramshackle con game of financialization requires a steady increase in debt and leverage to keep from crashing.
The trickery of substituting financialization for earned income–the trickery that fueled the last seven years of “recovery”–is exhausted.
Guest Post by Stilton Jarlsberg
Let’s get a few things out of the way first: the mass shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic is an awful tragedy which should never have happened. Whatever the gunman’s twisted motives (which remain unclear, although he mentioned “no more baby parts” in a rambling, disjointed conversation with police) he is nothing more, and nothing less, than a psycho killer who deserves capital punishment as quickly as the system will allow.
Clearly, the world would have been better off if this lunatic didn’t have a gun. But Hope n’ Change is struck by the hypocrisy of the president declaring “enough is enough” over this shooting of 12 people (3 killed, 9 wounded) while showing less interest in the holiday weekend’s body count in Chicago (15 killed, 67 wounded) than he shows in sports scores.
And the reason is simple: Mr. Obama’s goal remains to take guns out of the hands of the law abiding while doing nothing to curb the endemic inner city gun violence which takes so many black lives (which apparently don’t #Matter to him much.) So his selective outrage is clearly political rather than moral.
Guest Post by Jim Kunstler
Sometimes societies just go crazy. Japan, 1931, Germany, 1933. China, 1966. Spain 1483, France, 1793, Russia, 1917, Cambodia, 1975, Iran, 1979, Rwanda, 1994, Congo, 1996, to name some. By “crazy” I mean a time when anything goes, especially mass killing. The wheels came off the USA in 1861, and though the organized slaughter developed an overlay of romantic historical mythos — especially after Ken Burns converted it into a TV show — the civilized world to that time had hardly ever seen such an epic orgy of death-dealing.
I doubt that I’m I alone in worrying that America today is losing its collective mind. Our official relations with other countries seem perfectly designed to provoke chaos. The universities have melted into toxic sumps beyond even anti-intellectualism to a realm of hallucination. Demented gunmen mow down total strangers weekly in what looks like a growing competition to end their miserable lives with the highest victim score. The financial engineers have done everything possible to pervert and undermine the operations of markets. The political parties are committing suicide by cluelessness and corruption.
There is no narrative for our behavior toward Russia that makes sense anymore. Our campaign to destabilize Ukraine worked out nicely, didn’t it? And then we acted surprised when Russia reclaimed the traditionally Russian territory of Crimea, with its crucial warm-water naval ports. Who woulda thought? Then we attempted to antagonize them further with economic sanctions. The net effect is that Vladimir Putin ended up looking more rational and sane than any leader in the NATO coalition.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! In business, how important is the power of positive thinking?