ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

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Posted on 18th March 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Americans have an illogical love affair with their vehicles. There are 209 million licensed drivers in the U.S. and 260 million vehicles. The U.S. has a higher number of motor vehicles per capita than every country in the world at 845 per 1,000 people. Germany has 540; Japan has 593; Britain has 525; and China has 37. The population of the United States has risen from 203 million in 1970 to 311 million today, an increase of 108 million in 42 years. Over this same time frame, the number of motor vehicles on our crumbling highways has grown by 150 million. This might explain why a country that has 4.5% of the world’s population consumes 22% of the world’s daily oil supply. This might also further explain the Iraq War, the Afghanistan occupation, the Libyan “intervention”, and the coming war with Iran.

Automobiles have been a vital component in the financial Ponzi scheme that has passed for our economic system over the last thirty years. For most of the past thirty years annual vehicle sales have ranged between 15 million and 20 million, with only occasional drops below that level during recessions. They actually surged during the 2001-2002 recession as Americans dutifully obeyed their moron President and bought millions of monster SUVs, Hummers, and Silverado pickups with 0% financing from GM to defeat terrorism. Alan Greenspan provided the fuel, with ridiculously low interest rates. The Madison Avenue media maggots provided the transmission fluid by convincing millions of willfully ignorant Americans to buy or lease vehicles they couldn’t afford. And the financially clueless dupes pushed the pedal to the metal, until everyone went off the cliff in 2008.

America is proving itself to be insane as described by Albert Einstein:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The 2008 cataclysm was created by the voracious greed and avarice of Wall Street, sustained by corrupt politicians in Washington, non-existent regulation by banking regulators, Federal Reserve easy money policies, unspoken guarantees of Fed bailouts if Wall Street excess risk taking blew up, and millions of delusional Americans with an unlimited credit line. Excessive debt created the problem. Adding debt is the present solution to the problem. And the accumulation of debt will lead to a tipping point that destroys the U.S. dollar and topples the Great American Empire.

This spiral of government sponsored debt financed debacles has shockingly accelerated as we have supposedly been experiencing an economic recovery for the last two years. The 2008 financial meltdown was the result of too much debt peddled to too many people who never had the means or intentions to repay the debt. The Wall Street peddlers of debt didn’t care if it got repaid because they had already packaged it, bribed Moodys and S&P to rate the toxic garbage as AAA, and sold it to their “clients”. Then they made derivatives bets that it wouldn’t be repaid and raked in billions more as their Ponzi scheme unwound. There was just one problem with their master plan. The Wall Street titans made their derivate weapons of mass destruction so complicated and confusing that their own evil organizations of Harvard MBAs didn’t understand them. Enough hubristic CEOs existed at enough financial firms (AIG, Lehman, Bear Stearns, Citicorp) to bring the entire system crashing down as the toxic derivatives intertwined every major institution in the worldwide banking cabal.

What has happened since those dark days of 2008 is mind blowing in its epic proportions and epic stupidity. To quote Doug Casey, “Not only haven’t we done the right thing, we’ve done the exact opposite of the right thing.” It is absurd and ultimately suicidal to cure a debt disease by administering massive doses of more debt. But that is exactly what those in power have done. The National Debt has risen from a $9.7 trillion to $15.6 trillion, a 61% increase in three and a half years, while our real GDP has grown by $244 billion, a 1.9% increase. Not exactly a fabulous return on investment. But at least there are 7 million less people employed today than there were at the peak in 2008. Plus, senior citizens and middle class savers have seen $450 billion of annual interest income they were earning in 2008 pilfered from their savings accounts and handed to the Wall Street banking elite through Ben Bernanke’s ZIRP.

The Federal Reserve has tripled their balance sheet (actually your liability) from $950 billion to $2.9 trillion. Various other Federal government controlled bureaucracies (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA) have stealthily subsidized hundreds of billions in losses on behalf of the criminal Wall Street banks. Other Federal government run agencies (BLS, BEA, CBO) exist solely to massage, manipulate, misuse, and malign economic data and financial projections in order to muddle, misinform and mislead the American people about the true nature of our ongoing economic calamity. Propaganda and obfuscation are the scheme of choice by the powers that be. They are counting on decades of government run public education to insure that millions of non-critical thinking dullards will be unqualified or uninterested in the truth about our grim economic prospects. The oligarchy’s master plan has centered on houses, automobiles, and the illusion of a jobs recovery.

Whenever I’m trying to understand the motivations of the sociopathic Washington politicians, Wall Street bankers and mega-corporation CEOs, I always come back to the words of master manipulator Edward Bernays:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

The relatively small number of wealthy men thinks they are smarter than the masses and can manipulate them through their control of the government, the financial system and the media. The players in this game remain the same, but they have switched positions. The debt accumulation which led to the 2008 collapse was heavily concentrated on the books of the ruthless Wall Street psychopathic banks and on the backs of a readily pliable public. Today, the Federal government and the Federal Reserve have switched positions with their banker puppet masters, essentially shifting all past and future debt onto the backs of the American middle class. The Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Report, issued two weeks ago, reveals the extent of this blatant scheme to screw the American people in order to save and further enrich the Wall Street psychopaths who won’t be satisfied until their looting and pillaging leads to complete collapse and the world erupting into a world war. The despicable facts are as follows:

  • Total U.S. credit market debt has RISEN from $50.9 trillion in 2007 to $54.1 trillion as of 12/31/11, a $3.2 trillion increase.
  • Household debt has declined from $13.8 trillion in 2007 to $13.2 trillion as of 12/31/11. The mainstream media would point to this $600 billion decline as proof that Americans have embraced austerity and have learned their lesson. Of course that would be a lie. The Wall Street banks have written off $200 billion of credit card debt and the 5 million completed foreclosures extinguished another $800 billion of mortgage debt. The truth is that consumers have continued to pile up debt.
  • Much has been made of corporate America being flush with cash. If they are so flush, why have they added $900 billion of debt since 2007, an increase of 13% to an all-time high of $7.8 trillion?
  • The revealing data shows up in the financial company data. These Wall Street national treasures have reduced their debt from $17.1 trillion in 2008 to $13.6 trillion as of 12/31/11. How were they able to do this, while writing off $1 trillion of consumer debt?
  • You guessed it. They dumped it on the American taxpayer. The Federal government increased their debt from $5.1 trillion to $10.5 trillion. And our old friends called government sponsored enterprises (Fannie, Freddie, Student loans) increased their debt from $2.9 trillion to $6.2 trillion. Wall Street banks and millions of deadbeats who chose to game the system and live the good life have effectively foisted their $4.5 trillion of debt upon the backs of middle class taxpayers who lived within their means. Another $4.2 trillion has been pissed down the toilet by Obama with his $800 billion Keynesian porkulus program, home buyer tax credits, cash for clunkers, green energy boondoggles, 47 million people on food stamps success story, 99 weeks of unemployment, doubling of SSDI membership, and his multiple wars of choice in the Middle East.

The average hard working, taxpaying American has been enslaved in debt of such proportions that they will never be able pay it off. Your share of the $15.6 trillion National Debt is now $50,000, and growing by $4,500 per year. Your share of the future unfunded liabilities, created by the people you elected, is approximately $350,000. This crushing burden is in addition to the $13.8 trillion of mortgage, credit card, student loan, and auto loan debt Americans have accumulated in the last three decades of delusion. Forty percent of all credit card users do not pay-off their credit card every month and carry an average balance of $16,000 at an average interest rate of 15%. Good to see the Wall Street banks passing along some of their 0% borrowing windfall to their “customers”.

Source: TF Metals Report     

Pedal to the Metal

You may have noticed the corporate mainstream media, crooked politicians and lying Wall Street shills attempting to pound the economic recovery storyline into the consciousness of a terminally distracted populace. This is part of the Bernays inspired master plan of a small cabal of powerful men to control the public mind and keep our mass consumer society functioning smoothly so these corporate fascists can continue to gorge upon the carcass of a once vital republic. Decades of mass media consumer indoctrination, dumbing down of children through public school education and the conscious manipulation of attitudes and opinions of the malleable masses has succeeded. The invisible government of the rich and powerful has effectively converted responsible citizens into mindless consumers of products, bought with debt, peddled by associates of the invisible government. The crowded shopping malls, automobile showrooms, and restaurants are a testament to the power of propaganda and the intellectual bankruptcy of a vast swath of the American population.

Only psychopaths would encourage and condone behavior that would financially enrich themselves while destroying the lives and personal wealth of millions. The invisible government (Wall Street bankers, D.C. political hacks, mega-corporate executives, mass media titans) exhibits all the traits of a psychopath as described in a recent Harvard Business Review article:

  • Glibness and superficial charm
  • Lack of empathy
  • Consistent decisions in their self-interest, even where it is ethically questionable
  • Chronic, sometimes transparent lies, even with regard to minor things
  • Lack of remorse
  • Failure to take responsibility for their actions, and instead blaming others
  • Shallow emotions
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Persistent focus on gratifying their own needs at the expense of others
  • Conning and manipulative behavior

Do you recognize any of these traits in our president (Obama), congressmen (Weiner, McCain) Wall Street bankers (Dimon, Blankfein), corporate CEOs (Immelt), and mass media titans (Murdoch)? These people and many more like them will stop at nothing to further their self-serving agenda. They are intelligent and highly skilled at lying and manipulation. They lack empathy and don’t care what others think as they relentlessly pursue riches and power no matter the damage they inflict upon the people they so casually abuse, scorn and look down on. These are the people attempting to convince you that the path to economic recovery is through increased spending by consumers, utilizing debt supplied by them.

The entire recovery theme is a sham, financed by the Federal government with your tax dollars and the tax dollars of future unborn generations. I’ve arrived at this conclusion after pondering what I’ve been seeing with my own two eyes and through the insightful analysis found in the non-mainstream media (Zero Hedge, Jesse, Mish and many others). The mantra being pounded relentlessly by the mainstream media is that retail sales are booming and the unemployment rate has declined significantly, therefore an economic recovery is at hand. The chart below reveals the dramatic surge in vehicle “sales”. The annual pace is all the way back to 15 million, from the low below 10 million in 2009. The brief surge in mid-2009 was due to Obama’s highly successful Cash for Clunkers program that cost taxpayers $2.8 billion or $24,000 per car sold. It was highly successful for Government Motors (GM) and their union workers (Obama voters).

This rapid surge in auto sales has also resulted in a boost to overall retail sales, which have reached an all-time high. Automobile “sales” make up 18% of the retail sales number, by far the largest segment. The “record” retail sales are the result of surging gasoline sales, swelling food inflation, and a somewhat confusing cascade of car sales. It’s somewhat confusing until you realize how and why the 50% rise in vehicle sales has been accomplished by our Bernaysian masters. Retail sales in the first two months of 2012 are up 8.2%, led by a 9.2% wave of motor vehicle sales. Auto sales are at levels last seen in early 2008. This seems peculiar, since there are still 7 million less employed people in the country than in early 2008 and the real median household income is 9% lower than it was in early 2008. Real average hourly earnings have fallen for the last three months and are 1.2% lower than they were in October, 2010. A critical thinking person might ask himself, how could American households with less jobs and lower wages increase their purchases of automobiles by 50% in the last two years?

The answer is just what you expected. A phenomenal amount of debt peddled to people without the means or intent to ever repay the debt by the usual suspects: Ally Financial, Capital One, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and Bank of America. These fine upstanding institutions control 25% of the auto loan market. They doled out $24 billion of new car loans in the 4th quarter of 2011, with an outpouring of loans to those downtrodden subprime borrowers and an extension in the average loan length beyond 6 years. Subprime borrowers now account for 45% of all auto loans. As a refresher, subprime borrowers generally have little or no assets, have a history of late payments or defaulting on obligations, and have low incomes. No worries there. When has making hundreds of billions in subprime loans ever caused a problem before. Ally Financial CEO Michael Carpenter had this to say about the market:

“We have seen crazy, irrational competition in the subprime end of the marketplace, which is one reason why more banks are targeting the lower end of the market.”

Bank of America and Capital One increased their market shares of the auto loan market by 40% in the 4th quarter as they attempt to keep up with Ally Financial in reckless lending to deadbeats. If you aren’t familiar with Ally Financial, then you should be. You own 74% of this POS. Here is a brief summary:

  • GMAC, after contributing mightily to the financial crash of 2008 through their reckless subprime mortgage (Ditech) and auto lending and requiring a $16 billion bailout from American taxpayers, changed its name to Ally Financial in 2009. It’s sort of like John Dillinger using acid to try and change his fingerprints.
  • Ally Financial provides financing for all GM and Chrysler customers and dealers and is the market share leader in auto lending.
  • Ally Financial still owes the American taxpayers $12 billion.
  • Ally Financial is a ward of the Federal government and will do anything it is told to do by Obama. The recent foreclosure fraud settlement required Ally to pay $250 million to the customers it defrauded. They will only pay $110 million based on their inability to pay $250 million. Sounds like a company that should be increasing their subprime loan portfolio. Obama and his minions instead received a commitment from a lender they own and control to cut principal for delinquent borrowers and refinance underwater borrowers. And Obama didn’t even offer us a cigarette afterwards.
  • Ally Financial, along with Capital One, failed the Federal Reserve stress test last week. Ally, Capital One, Bank of America, and Citicorp are dead banks walking. Brilliant bank analyst Chris Whelan succinctly sums up their fate after analyzing the Federal Reserve stress test results:

“When you get to junior liens and HELOCs you will understand why I have been saying that Ally Financial and BAC need to be restructured. With a plus 20% loss rate on second liens, Ally has substantial capital issues to put it mildly. But look at C right behind them with a loss rate in the mid-teens followed by BAC. Yikes. This type of loss rate is typical for credit cards and both of these second lien portfolios are > $100 billion.

And the real lesson, dead friends, is that the good old USA is a subprime nation, a society of individuals whose aggregate probability of default is probably around a “B” to “CCC.” Convert the loss rates in the stress tests to bond ratings using the break points from Moody’s or S&P and tell me what you see.

Last point on Ally Financial: Yikes. Probably the weakest results of the whole group. Memo to POTUS: File Ch. 11, sell auto biz and bank to GM in 365 sale. Liquidate ResCap. Declare success. But do not be surprised if BAC follows if Ally goes into bankruptcy. The one thing that the Fed almost completely ignores is the vast financial risk facing BAC and Ally, and to a lesser degree, WFC, JPM and C.”

When you understand this background, anecdotal evidence that seems absurd starts to make sense. I spend two hours per day on the road and have plenty of time to observe my surroundings. I drive through the Mantua section of West Philadelphia every day. The average household income in this neighborhood is $16,000. The average home value is $25,000. The true unemployment rate exceeds 40%. At least 20% of the properties are vacant and the neighborhood resembles Baghdad. Last week, I counted six brand new vehicles with registration tags in their back windows in a one block radius of this neighborhood. Every block has newer model Ford Expeditions, GMC Sierras, BMWs, Acuras, Cadillacs, and Mercedes sprinkled among the squalor. Someone is loaning these people the money to buy these $40,000 vehicles or approving them for leases. This neighborhood puts the SUB in subprime. No financial firm worth spit would make a six year $35,000 auto loan to someone in this neighborhood unless they were instructed to do so by the Federal government or were guaranteed that the future loss would be borne by someone else – YOU.

The GM, Chevy and Chrysler car dealer ads in my local paper actually have the following headline in bold:

Have credit problems? NO PROBLEM

Most of the ads don’t even list the prices of the vehicles. They either tout the 72 month 0% financing or they list the monthly lease cost. It seems that virtually any vehicle can be leased for $300 per month or less these days. This might explain why 25% of all vehicles are leased today. In reality, 25% of the cars being “sold” today are really just being rented for three years. Both the lessors and lessees are basing these transactions upon delusions and assumptions which will likely blow up in their faces and again cost – YOU.

An auto lease payment is based upon interest rates, the cost of the car, subsidies from the auto makers, and the expected residual value of the vehicle at the end of the three year lease. When have financial companies ever miscalculated any of these assumptions? How about 2001-2002 and 2008-2009? The reason auto leases are ridiculously low is because Ben Bernanke’s zero interest rate policy is providing free money to Ally Financial and the rest of the Wall Street zombie banks and creating huge mal-investment – Again. The auto makers see no risks, as the used car market has been extremely strong for the last year and they anticipate continued strong demand for cars as they come off their three year leases. Therefore, they have estimated the residual values three years out at a very high level. The strong used car market may have been slightly impacted by the destruction of 700,000 vehicles under Obama’s Cash for Clunkers debacle. The combination of excessively low interest rates and excessively high residual value estimates leads to ridiculously low lease rates. The sales statistics for the first two months of 2012 reveal why this will blow up in the faces of lessors and the predictably incompetent financial drug dealers.

Feb-12

% Chg Feb’11 YTD 2012
Cars

612,145

23.9

1,080,466

Midsize

304,601

25.6

532,818

Small

225,061

26.5

397,838

Luxury

81,476

22.7

147,647

Large

1,007

-85.8

2,163

Light-duty trucks

537,251

7.6

982,217

Pickup

148,956

13.8

273,430

Cross-over

225,621

0.4

412,974

Minivan

64,849

15.3

111,764

Midsize SUV

54,827

15.3

101,813

Large SUV

16,783

-5.4

31,566

Small SUV

13,926

24

25,951

Luxury SUV

12,289

12.4

24,719

 

It seems the delusional American public and their love affair with big SUVs, pickups, and their 8 cylinder luxury wheels will continue until they are hit over the head with the baseball bat of $5 a gallon gas. The Madison Avenue Bernays disciples have molded the minds and formed the opinions of millions of easily influenced, financially ignorant superficial Americans into believing the vehicle they drive is a true measurement of success. These people choose being up to their eyeballs in auto debt or perennial renters of luxury vehicles to appear prosperous to their neighbors and coworkers rather than actually achieving real success through the time honored tradition of earning more than you spend and saving the difference. The fact is that 80% of all the vehicles being sold in the U.S. are SUVs, pickups, crossovers, minivans, and larger cars that get 25 mpg or less.

As gas prices continue to rise towards $5 per gallon, a war with Iran looming in the near future, interest rates beginning to rise, and the country headed back into recession (MSM is wrong about the recovery), the car makers are poised to again experience enormous losses. Auto makers will have a sense of déjà vu as they have committed an epic blunder by overestimating the future value of the gas guzzlers they have been leasing. As a result, when the leases expire and auto makers take back the SUVs and pickups that get 15 mpg and attempt to resell them, the losses will run into the billions of dollars. There will be no one buying used gas guzzlers, with gas costing $5 per gallon. As the millions of subprime borrowers realize they can’t afford car payments, paying 40% more for gas, and trying to put food on the table, auto loan delinquencies will soar. This is as predictable as the housing market collapse in 2005. None of this matters to the psychotic governing elite who only care about the illusion of recovery today. These vampire squids will not be satisfied until every drop of blood is sucked out of the national carcass.

Ally Financial is part of the Federal Government and is being used to promote the agenda of the governing elite. They join Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal student loan peddlers as the primary tools of the corporate fascist powers that control this country. The nominal private ownership of these companies is a sham, as the state dictates how they will be run and who they will benefit. This corporate fascist empire is built upon an unholy alliance between big banks, big business, big media and big government, with each protecting and enriching each other. The psychopaths who are drawn to these organizations want to control people. They desire power, wealth, and the ability to manipulate public opinion. Their tactics include spreading fear and an atmosphere of paranoia in order to convince the populace that more government action will improve their lives. We are headed towards economic and financial collapse as these psychopaths will never willingly reverse course and the majority of our population has become so degraded (have you been to a Wal-Mart lately) that they are incapable or unwilling to confront the psychopaths.

Doug Casey in the latest Casey Report explains how evil and stupidity are a deadly combination:

“I would like to suggest that what really distinguishes political elites from normal people is not just a predilection for stupidity but a real capacity for evil. Evil might best be defined as the intentional and usually gratuitous commission of acts that are cruel or unjust. A person who commits many evil acts is a sociopath. The sociopaths who are naturally drawn to government eventually come to dominate it. They’re very dangerous people. They reset the social mores of the country they control. After a certain point, a critical mass is reached, and it’s GAME OVER. I suspect we’re approaching that point.”

The next time you hear a government drone, Wall Street shyster, or corporate mainstream media whore declare we are experiencing an economic recovery try not to laugh out loud. Their agenda doesn’t include making your life better. You are not in the club. Prepare accordingly.  



 

BREAD, CIRCUSES, SPENDING CUTS, UNICORNS & THE APPEARANCE OF WEALTH

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Posted on 5th August 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses” - Juvenal – 100 A.D.

 

 

Juvenal makes reference to the Roman practice of providing free wheat to Roman citizens as well as costly circus games and other forms of entertainment as a means of gaining political power through populism. Roman politicians devised a plan in 140 B.C. to win the votes of the poor: giving out cheap food and entertainment, “bread and circuses”. The Roman politicians realized this would be the most effective way to rise to power and stay in power.

With the revolting display of political theater in the last few weeks, I couldn’t help but consider the parallels between the Roman Empire and the American Empire. The entire debt ceiling farce was a circus on an epic scale – The Greatest Show on Earth. The American public was treated to high wire acts of near debt experiences, Senators putting their heads into the mouths of lions, and hundreds of clowns riding tiny bikes with squeaking horns. In the end, American politicians did what they do best - pretended to solve a spending problem without cutting spending. Only in America could politicians put the country on course to increase its national debt from $14.5 trillion to $23 trillion by 2021 and declare they are cutting spending. For those that need to visualize the lies of politicians, take a gander at this chart and try to find the cuts in spending.

You have a better chance of finding a unicorn in your backyard than finding actual cuts in spending from the corrupt clowns inhabiting the halls of Congress. If you are driving your car towards a brick wall at 120 mph and you slow down to 118 mph, the ultimate result will be the same. The only way to avoid disaster is to jam on the brakes. But, the liberal and conservative politicians are both enjoying the ride fueled by millions in corporate, union, Wall Street and a thousand other special interest payoffs.  

The Roman authorities provided free wheat to the peasants as a superficial means of appeasing the masses and distracting them from the fact that public policy and public service had failed, as corruption and decadence engulfed those in control of government. Free bread, chariot races, and feeding Christians to lions kept the small-minded peasants satiated and ignorant of their civic duty. Today, the authorities don’t hand out bread they hand out EBT cards to 45.5 million Americans, or 14.6% of the entire population.

There are almost 5 million Americans on welfare. There are 50 million Americans on Medicaid. There are 8 million Americans receiving unemployment compensation. There are 10.5 million Americans on Social Security disability. This is the symbolic bread being provided to the masses to keep them tranquilized, pliable, satisfied and ignorant of their civic duty. The government has renamed bread as “social benefits” and now distributes $2.3 trillion of bread per year to the ”needy”. This constitutes 15% of the country’s GDP and will continue to grow for decades or until the American Empire collapses.

Aldous Huxley in his 1958 assessment of his 1931 novel Brave New World - Brave New World Revisited said that “any bird that has learned how to grub up a good living without being compelled to use its wings will soon renounce the privilege of flight and remain forever grounded. If the bread is supplied regularly and copiously three times a day, many of them will be perfectly content to live by bread alone – or at least by bread and circuses alone. ‘In the end,’ says the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s parable, ‘in the end they will lay their freedom at your feet and say to us, make us your slaves, but feed us.” Bread is not the opiate of the masses, it is the cyanide. Huxley saw the Welfare state arising before it really got kick started in the late 1960s. By trying to support the less fortunate by transferring trillions to them, with no strings attached, we have insured the ultimate bankruptcy of our country. Americans have willingly sacrificed liberty, freedom and civic responsibility for safety, security and bread.

Huxley hadn’t lost all hope. He seems to have foreseen the rise of the Tea Party and the coming revolution, led by the youth of this country who are being left with the bill for the bread and circuses promised by myopic politicians over the last four decades:

“When things go badly, and the rations are reduced, the grounded do-dos will clamor again for their wings… The young people who now think so poorly of democracy may grow up to be fighters for freedom. The cry of ‘Give me television and hamburgers, but don’t bother me with the responsibilities of liberty,’ may give place, under altered circumstances to the cry of Give me liberty or give me death.”

I hope Huxley is right. The welfare state is bankrupt. The rations are going to be cut. There is no choice. The money is gone. The jobs are gone. The do-do’s that haven’t flown in years are unlikely to clamor for their wings. They are already clamoring when even the potential of cuts in their bird feed are mentioned. The Millenial generation is our last great hope to reverse our decline. They have not become addicted to “social benefits” yet. Their parents and grandparents are handing them an un-payable bill as they graduate college with no jobs. A generational war is in the offing. I for one will side with the youth against the Boomers. The future of the country depends upon the outcome of this war.

Striking Similarities to Rome

“There are striking similarities between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”. -David Walker

 

David Walker, the former head of the GAO from 1998 until 2008, compared the U.S. Empire to the Roman Empire in August 2007. He has been warning the country about our unsustainable fiscal path for over a decade.

  • Since August 2007 the National Debt has increased from $8.9 trillion to $14.6 trillion, a 64% increase in four years.
  • We’ve increased our cumulative expenditure on our wars of choice in the Middle East to $1.3 trillion since 2001.
  • Our annual military spending rose from $653 billion in 2007 to the current $966 billion, a 48% increase in four years.
  • Federal government transfers for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, Veterans, Food Stamps, and Welfare increased from $1.7 trillion in 2007 to the current level of $2.3 trillion, a 35% increase in four years.

It goes without saying that Mr. Walker’s advice was not heeded. And regarding declining moral values and political civility, I would point you to the fine examples of morality displayed by Wall Street since 2007 along with the display of civility seen in Washington DC over the last few weeks. The striking similarities that David Walker acknowledged are in full bloom for the world to see.

English historian Edward Gibbon wrote his masterpiece The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776, ironically in the year the American Empire was born. He detailed the societal collapse encompassing both the gradual disintegration of the political, economic, military, and other social institutions of Rome and the barbarian invasions that were its final doom in Western Europe. Gibbon concluded there were five marks of the Roman decaying culture:

  1. Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth.
  2. Obsession with sex and perversions of sex.
  3. Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original.
  4. Widening disparity between very rich and very poor.
  5. Increased demand to live off the state

Gibbon’s analysis captured the essence of what happens to all empires. It subsequently happened to the Dutch, Spanish and British empires and has been eating away at the greatest empire of all over the last several decades. Larry Elliot, writer for the UK Guardian, recently described the rot that has destroyed every empire in history:

“The experience of both Rome and Britain suggests that it is hard to stop the rot once it has set in, so here are the a few of the warning signs of trouble ahead: military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working. The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence.

Empires decline for many different reasons but certain factors recur. There is an initial reluctance to admit that there is much to fret about, and there is the arrival of a challenger (or several challengers) to the settled international order. In Spain’s case, the rival was Britain. In Britain’s case, it was America. In America’s case, the threat comes from China.”

For the last forty years America has shifted from a society that created goods into a society that created debt. Displays of affluence like McMansions, Mercedes, BMWs, Rolexes, summer mansions in the Hamptons, designer clothes, granite and stainless steel kitchens, and 85 inch HDTVs, all purchased with debt provided like candy by the Wall Street banks and their sugar daddy – the Federal Reserve, have trumped true wealth building. The result is a nation with $52.6 trillion of debt outstanding, or 350% of GDP. The basic rule for maintaining a healthy economic system requires the population to spend less than they earn and save the difference. The savings can then be invested in domestic companies, plants and equipment which keep the country growing. Americans bought into the lie that purchasing cheap foreign goods with cheap credit was as valid as actually building wealth. The national savings rate, which exceeded 10% in the 1970s and early 1980s, dropped to less than 1% by 2005. Why save when you could whip out one of your 13 credit cards.

America’s obsession with sex and perversion of sex makes Caligula look like a Boy Scout. There are 4.2 million pornographic websites serving 72 million visitors per month and generating $5 billion of revenue for these fine capitalists. More than 40% of internet users view porn. What passes for art today is a crucifix in the artist’s urine. The true art of the American empire consists of reality TV shows like Jersey Shore and Housewives of NY, OC, NJ, Miami, and Atlanta. America has taken shallow, mindless, and superficial to an empire crushing low.

The disparity in wealth between the super rich and the working class has never been greater. The working middle class that built this country has been systematically destroyed as the super rich have used inflation and debt to lure them into servitude, while the unproductive parasites have learned it is easier to feed off their middle class host than work for a living. It is clear to anyone, except a Republican ideologue, that when the top 10% richest Americans abscond with 50% of the income in the nation through their control of politicians, Wall Street and the few mega-corporations that set the economic agenda, a convulsive change is necessary. It is not a coincidence  the heyday of the American Empire was from 1946 until 1971 when the working middle class was able to advance their station in life through education, hard work and a level playing field.

The playing field got tilted against the working middle class in the late 1960′s with LBJ’s Great Society welfare state and got turned upside down in 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window and allowed bankers and politicians unfettered access to money printing with no immediate consequences. The result has been a slow steady descent into hell as politicians have made $100 trillion of unfunded promises of bread to the masses and bankers have gorged themselves with riches from peddling debt to the same masses, so they could enjoy the circuses. We are now left with the top 1% hoarding 33.8% of the wealth and the top 10% clinging to 71.5% of the wealth in the country. The bottom feeders are thrown scraps of bread in the form of food stamps, welfare, disability payments, and unemployment compensation. They have grown dependent and no longer participate in productive society. With more than 50% of adults paying no income tax, they vote for politicians that promise to not “cut” their social benefits.  

 

When you see your leaders take actions that clearly are not in the long term best interests of the American people, you need to ask why. Since September 2008 your leaders have funneled trillions of dollars to the Wall Street bankers that nearly destroyed the worldwide economic system. They have funneled billions into the coffers of the mega-corporations that outsourced your jobs to Asia. They ramped up their wars in the Middle East to reward their friends in the military industrial complex. And lastly, they handed out a few hundred billion more to the masses to keep them from rioting in the streets.

We know for a fact QE2 was designed to prop up the stock market because Ben Bernanke told us so. And it worked. From the day he announced he was going to do it at the annual meeting of the ruling moneyed classes at Jackson Hole until it ended on July 1, 2011, the market went up 30%. The average American dealt with the 30% to 50% increases in food and energy costs, while the richest 1% partied like it was 1999. Considering they own 50.9% of all the stocks in the country, the last couple years of free money and stock appreciation created by the Federal Reserve have been a windfall for the privileged moneyed class. The bottom 50% who own 0.5% of the stocks in the country haven’t fared so well. 

When you watch the talking heads and contemptible pundits on Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and the other mainstream corporate media spinning our economic situation in a positive way, remember that every person you are listening to is a member of the top 1% richest Americans. They have large portfolios of stocks and will not let reality or truth interfere with their ambitions of further wealth and power. This country is controlled by the few for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. Less than ten banks control more than 50% of deposits and 75% of the lending in the country. One private banking organization – the Federal Reserve – controls the currency of the country. A handful of mega-corporations control the commerce of the country. Less than ten arms dealers dictate the war spending in the country. A few media conglomerates control the message fed to the masses. A few hundred corrupt politicians pay off their corporate and banking masters with laws, tax breaks, and pork. These people make up the ruling class of America.

As their messages of “efficiency” and “job creation” have proven to be lies, the financialization of America by the ruling class is almost complete. Real earnings for real people are 10% lower than they were in 1972. They have transformed a productive society based on saving and investment into a hollowed out shell of a society based on financial manipulation and debt. The endgame approaches.

The moneyed interests have gone too far. The debts are too large. The burden placed on the middle class is too great. The Federal Reserve has proven to be the lackeys of the Wall Street fat cats and the slithering political class in Washington DC. QE2 was a miserable failure. The American middle class is angry. Their anger could lash out in many possible directions. Their benefits will be cut. Their home values will fall. Their 401ks will be cut in half. Their standard of living will fall. Will they accept this fate without a fight? I doubt it.

Democracy Never Lasts Long 

The decline of the American Empire may be a surprise to those who cling to the laughable American Exceptionalism dogma, but every previous empire in history has declined. The Dutch Empire lasted for just over a century. The Spanish Empire survived for just over two centuries. The British Empire reigned for just over three centuries. And the Great Roman Empire ruled for almost five centuries.

The American Empire has been expanding for over 220 years, but based on all indications has peaked. Were we destined to implode as all previous democracies have done, as described by Greek historian Polybius?

“Monarchy first changes into its vicious allied form, tyranny; and next, the abolishment of both gives birth to aristocracy. Aristocracy by its very nature degenerates into oligarchy; and when the commons inflamed by anger take vengeance on this government for its unjust rule, democracy comes into being; and in due course the licence and lawlessness of this form of government produces mob-rule to complete the series.” -The Histories 6.4.7-13

As a democracy this country was supposed to be governed by the people, for the people. We were supposed to have an equal say in how we were governed and participation in adopting the laws of the land. Over time civic duty was outsourced to politicians that promised the masses safety and security at the expense of liberty and responsibility. The general population has grown accustom to the bread and circuses provided by their “protectors”. The fledgling democracy has degenerated into a corporate fascist oligopoly that benefits the few in control. Recent events prove beyond a shadow of doubt the privileged few are losing control of the situation. A worldwide upheaval is brewing as the toxic debt is strangling the economic systems of the world. Confidence in this ponzi finance system is waning. The American population is beginning to realize their fatal mistake in trusting bankers and politicians to do what was right for the country.

Polybius believed that democracies always killed themselves:

“And hence when by their foolish thirst for reputation they have created among the masses an appetite for gifts and the habit of receiving them, democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence. For the people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the houses of office by his penury, institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch.” - The Histories 6.9.7-9

The average American does not understand what is swirling around them. They have a sense of unease, but they are still receiving their government issued bread and their 52 inch TV is providing 24 hours of circuses. The monetary system upon which that bread and those circuses are based is collapsing as we speak. Ernest Hemingway captures what is happening to the American Empire in one brief quote from his novel The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways, gradually and then suddenly”

As the political theater of the absurd played out last week in Washington DC, it became clear to me the ruling class has no intention of changing our path. Politicians will keep spending and central bankers will keep printing more money. There are people like David Walker that will continue to sound the alarm:

“We are less than three years away from where Greece had its debt crisis as to where they were from debt to GDP. With the recent increase in the debt ceiling and continued higher budget deficits at the federal level, the US is on course for its own crisis. We are not exempt from a debt crisis. We’re never going to default, because we can print money. At the same point in time, we have serious interest rate risk, we have serious currency risk, we have serious inflation risk over time. If it happens, it will be sudden and it will be very painful.”

But, it appears we are destined to commit suicide as a nation. I doubt the American Empire will linger on for centuries. The world moves rapidly. The Vandals (Goldman Sachs) and the Huns (JP Morgan) are at the gates. The final battle is underway – the battle for the soul of America. When the existing social structure is swept away by the tsunami of un-payable debt, who and what will replace it? Will the American people turn to someone that promises them liberty and freedom with no promises of bread and circuses? Or will they turn to a strong demagogue that promises them more safety and more security?

What do you think?

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”  – John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814

PEAK OIL – THE LONG & THE SHORT

53 comments

Posted on 15th June 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Does it seem like we’ve been here before?

A barrel of Brent Crude (the truest indicator of worldwide oil scarcity) sits at $118, up from $75 per barrel in July 2010 – a 57% increase in eleven months. In the U.S., the average price of gasoline is $3.69 per gallon this week, up 37% in the last year and up 100% in the last 30 months.

The pundits and politicians are responding predictably. They blame the Libyan revolution, the dreaded speculators and that old fallback – Big Oil. When the Middle East turmoil began in earnest in January, gas prices had already risen 15% in three months, spurred by increased worldwide demand and by Ben Bernanke’s printing press. Congressmen have reacted in their usual kneejerk politically motivated fashion by demanding that supplies be released from the Strategic Oil Reserve.

Congress has a little trouble with the concept of “strategic.” They also have difficulty dealing with a reality that has been staring them in the face for decades. Politicians will always disregard prudent, long-term planning for vote-generating talk and gestures.

The Long Term

Peak oil has been a mathematically predictable occurrence since American geophysicist M. King Hubbert figured out the process in 1956. His model predicted that oil production in the United States would peak in 1970. He wasn’t far off. In 1971, when the U.S. was producing 88% of its oil needs, domestic production approached 10 million barrels per day and has been in decline ever since.

(Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/energy_in_brief/images/charts/
Consumption_production_import_trends-large.gif
)

The Department of Energy was established in 1977 with a mandate to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. At the time, the U.S. was importing 6.5 million barrels per day. In 1985 the country was still able to produce enough to cover 75% of its needs. Today, 34 years later, the U.S. imports 10 million barrels per day, almost half of what it uses.

President Obama’s 2011 Budget proposal included priorities for the DOE:

  • Positions the United States to be the global leader in the new energy economy by developing new ways to produce and use clean and renewable energy.
  • Expands the use of clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal while supporting the Administration’s goal to develop a smart, strong and secure electricity grid.
  • Promotes innovation in the renewable energy sectors through the use of expanded loan guarantee authority.

That’s what goes on in talk space.

Back on planet Earth, not a single U.S. oil refinery or nuclear power plant has been built  since 1977. Decades of inaction and denial have left our energy infrastructure obsolescent and decaying. Pipelines, tanks, drilling rigs, refineries and tankers have passed their original design lives. The oil industry is manned by an aging workforce of geologists, engineers and refinery hands. Many are nearing retirement, and there are few skilled personnel to replace them.

Denial of peak oil becomes more dangerous by the day. The Obama administration prattles about clean energy, solar, wind and ethanol, when petroleum powers 96% of the transportation sector and 44% of the industrial sector. Coal provides 51% of the country’s electricity, and nuclear accounts for another 21%. Renewable energy contributes only 6.7% of the country’s energy needs, mostly from hydroelectric facilities.

Ethanol works nicely as a slogan but poorly as a solution. The ethanol boondoggle diverts 40% of the U.S. corn crop to fuel production. The real cost to produce a gallon of ethanol (tariffs, lost energy, higher food costs)  exceeds $7 and has contributed to the price of corn rising 112% in the last year. The 107 million tons of grain that went to U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 would have been enough to feed 330 million people for one year.

(Source: http://perotcharts.com/category/challenges/energy/)

The most worrisome aspect of peak oil is that our government leaders have known of it  and have chosen to do nothing. The Department of Energy requested a report from widely respected energy expert Robert Hirsch in 2005. The report clearly laid out the dire situation:

    The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.

Some of his conclusions:

  • World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt. World production of conventional oil will reach a maximum and decline thereafter.
  • Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies, particularly the U.S. Over the past century, the U.S. economy has been shaped by the availability of low-cost oil. The economic loss to the United States could be measured on a trillion-dollar scale.
  • The problem is liquid fuels for transportation. The lifetimes of transportation equipment are measured in decades. Rapid changeover in transportation equipment is inherently impossible. Motor vehicles, aircraft, trains and ships have no ready alternative to liquid fuels.
  • Mitigation efforts will require substantial time. Waiting until production peaks would leave the world with a liquid fuel deficit for 20 years. Initiating a crash program 10 years before peaking leaves a liquid fuels shortfall of a decade. Initiating a crash program 20 years before peaking could avoid a world liquid fuels shortfall.

World liquid oil production has never exceeded the level reached in 2005. It becomes more evident by the day that worldwide production has peaked. Robert Hirsch was correct. The world will have a liquid fuel deficit for decades.

The Short Term

The International Energy Agency has been increasing its estimates for world oil consumption to over 90 million barrels per day by the 4th quarter of 2011, led by strong demand from China, India and the rest of the emerging world. World supply was already straining to keep up with this demand before the recent tumult in the Middle East. The mayhem in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Iran has already taken 1.5 million barrels per day off the market, according to the IEA.

(Source: http://omrpublic.iea.org/)

The Obama administration and mainstream media continue to downplay the economic impact of the conflagration spreading around the world. The risk that oil prices gush toward the 2008 highs is much greater than the likelihood that this turmoil will subside and oil prices fall back to $80 per barrel. As the following chart shows, the daily oil supply coming from countries already experiencing revolution or in danger of uprisings is nearly 8 million barrels per day, or 9% of world supply. No country can ramp up production to make up for that shortfall.

  Proven Oil Oil
Country
Reserves (billion barrels) Production Per Day
Saudi Arabia
265
9,000,000
Iran
137
3,700,000
Iraq
115
2,700,000
UAE
98
2,300,000
Kuwait
102
2,300,000
Libya
46
1,600,000
Algeria
12
1,300,000
Qatar
25
820,000
Oman
6
810,000
Egypt
4
742,000
Syria
3
376,000
Yemen
3
298,000

 

The Washington DC spin doctors are now assuring the American people that Saudi Arabia can make up for any oil shortfall. Saudi Arabia has declared it has already turned the spigot on and will produce 10.0 million bpd, up from 8.5 million bpd.

Is this replacement production real? A leading industry expert revealed that the Saudis were already producing 8.9 million bpd in January. Hype and misinformation won’t fill your SUV with cheap gas. Saudi production peaked at 9.8 million bpd in 2005. When prices spiked to $147 per barrel in early 2008, their production grew only to 9.5 million bpd. Saudi oil fields are 40 years old and are in terminal decline. Their “spare capacity” doesn’t exist.

And the media ignore the quality difference between Libyan crude and Saudi crude. Libya’s oil is a perfect feedstock for ultra-low-sulfur diesel. The oil Saudi Arabia will supply to replace it is not. It takes three barrels of Saudi crude to yield the same quantity of diesel fuel as one Libyan barrel of crude, and only specially designed refineries can process high-sulfur Saudi oil.

The problem isn’t just turmoil in the Middle East. The Persian Gulf provides 17% of U.S. imports; 22% comes from Africa, 10% from Venezuela and 15% from Mexico. Many of these countries hate us. Mexico, although a relatively friendly country, will become a net importer of oil in the next five years, as its Cantarell oil field is in rapid decline. They’ll have nothing to sell to us.

The long and the short of it is that sunshine, corn and wind will not keep Americans from paying $5 per gallon or more for gas in the near future. The financial implications are that oil and energy investments will produce solid returns over the coming years.

This article was originally published in the Casey Report.

PUMP IT UP

72 comments

Posted on 18th February 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Down in the pleasure centre,
hell bent or heaven sent,
listen to the propaganda,
listen to the latest slander.
There’s nothing underhand
that she wouldn’t understand.
Pump it up until you can feel it.
Pump it up when you don’t really need it.

Elvis Costello - Pump It Up

I had been planning an article based on the Green Day song – Static Age - about the propaganda, lies and misinformation that are endlessly directed at the American people by the government, the mainstream corporate media, and the wealthy elite that control the levers of our society. Then Barack Obama presented his 2012 Budget proposal, including his 10 year projection for our country. I know you’ve heard the term Peak Oil, but the term that came to my mind when I saw Obama’s budget was Peak Bullshit. I thought that would be a great article name, but some sites wouldn’t like the foul language. I was in a quandary until the Elvis Costello song Pump It Up came on the radio while I was driving to work. Down in the pleasure center of Washington DC, the propaganda, slander and most blatant lies are spoken without a hint of guilt or even the faintest whiff of shame. The politicians in Washington DC on both sides of the aisle believe the American people are stupid, gullible, apathetic and easily manipulated. They may be right, but there are a few people out there who can cut through their bullshit and find the truth.

Obama, Wall Street, and the corporate mouthpieces in the mainstream media have been pumping up the American people for months with false data, unwarranted optimism, bank profits created out of thin air by accounting fraud, and attempting to create an economic recovery built on a foundation of sand, supported only by lies. The Obama budget is worse than a joke. It is a tragic joke. It amazes me that he can stand in front of the American people and present such a lie. The liberal media then unquestioningly presents the budget as a frugal cost cutting proposal that will reduce deficits and inflict painful cuts upon the poor American people. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so sad. One look at Obama’s deficit projections for FY11 and FY12, presented one year ago, should be enough to convince you that no one in Washington DC has a clue what they are doing.

  Federal (Deficit)
Year Spending Surplus
2011 $3,834 -$1,267
2012 $3,755 -$828

 

Obama projected a two year deficit of $2.1 trillion. His current projection, just one year later, is $2.75 trillion. He missed it by this much.

The rocket scientists running our country underestimated the deficit by 31% in the space of one year. I suppose that is considered highly accurate for a government drone. Now let’s get some perspective on Obama’s projected FY11 deficit of $1.65 trillion. This is the projected DEFICIT. Do you remember back to the Clinton administration? Did you feel like your Federal government wasn’t spending enough? In 1998 the TOTAL SPENDING of the Federal government was $1.65 trillion. We now run deficits that equal the entire budget of the United States in 1998, without blinking an eye or questioning how we got here. The politicians have scared the populace into thinking that the country will collapse without the Federal Government spending $3.8 trillion of your money, every year.

Static Age

Can you hear the sound of the static noise?
Blasting out in stereo
Cater to the class and the paranoid
Music to my nervous system
Advertising love and religion
Murder on the airwaves
Slogans on the brink of corruption
Vision of blasphemy, war and peace
Screaming at you

I can’t see a thing in the video
I can’t hear a sound on the radio
In stereo in the static age  –
Green Day – Static Age

The politicians prefer their actions be bathed in shades of grey. The corporate payoffs, backroom deals, union arm twisting and selling of votes to the highest bidder are how business is done in Washington DC. They believe that if there is enough static noise being generated by the mainstream media, then the American public will be distracted and not notice they have destroyed the country. When analyzing Obama’s budget we need some perspective. Below is a chart showing actual Federal spending and deficits from 1999 through 2010 and projections from 2011 through 2021. My assessment is that the Great American Empire peaked in 1999-2000. The unemployment rate was 4% and 64.4% of the working age population, or 137 million Americans, were employed. Corporate profits were surging, along with the stock market. The Federal government was spending $1.8 trillion and generating budget surpluses of $236 billion. The National Debt of $5.7 trillion was only 57% of GDP. 

The decline of the American Empire can be seen in the chart of woe. The unemployment rate today is 9%. Only 58.4% of the working age population is employed. Eleven years after peak empire, the working age population has grown by 26 million people and the number of employed Americans has grown by 2.4 million. At least 64.4% of the population would like to be working. This means that there are 14.4 million people who would work if the jobs were available. The Federal government is spending $3.8 trillion and generating deficits of $1.6 trillion. The National Debt is $14.2 trillion, or 94% of GDP. Except for Wall Street banks and mega-corporations, small business profits are weak and the stock market is at the same levels reached in 1999. These are the truths you won’t hear from politicians or the mainstream media.

  Federal   (Deficit)
Year Spending % Change Surplus
1999 $1,702   $125
2000 $1,789 5.1% $236
2001 $1,863 4.1% $128
2002 $2,011 7.9% -$158
2003 $2,160 7.4% -$378
2004 $2,293 6.2% -$413
2005 $2,472 7.8% -$319
2006 $2,655 7.4% -$249
2007 $2,729 2.8% -$161
2008 $2,983 9.3% -$459
2009 $3,518 17.9% -$1,413
2010 $3,456 -1.8% -$1,293
2011F $3,819 10.5% -$1,645
2012B $3,729 -2.4% -$1,101
2013B $3,771 1.1% -$768
2014B $3,977 5.5% -$645
2015B $4,190 5.4% -$607
2016B $4,468 6.6% -$649
2017B $4,669 4.5% -$627
2018B $4,876 4.4% -$619
2019B $5,154 5.7% -$681
2020B $5,422 5.2% -$735
2021B $5,697 5.1% -$774

 

So now let’s assess the reality of Obama’s ten year budget. If you were to believe the reports in the media, you would think that Obama is cutting deficits and making hard choices. Amazingly, deficits plummet all the way down to “only” $600 billion to $800 billion after 2012. In the chart above, I ignore the revenue side of the equation, because Obama’s assumptions are beyond ridiculous. His assumption of the GDP growing from $15 trillion in 2011 to $24.6 trillion in 2021, a 64% increase, is a fantasy. During the last 10 years, GDP grew by only 51%. So, despite mind numbing debt levels, structurally high unemployment, peak oil, and a rapidly aging population, GDP is going to surge over the next ten years? I certainly believe that. Under the Obama budget, tax revenues will grow from 14.4% of GDP in 2011 to 20% of GDP in 2021. By comparison, the historical average is only 18% of GDP. Some of Obama’s tax revenue assumptions are as follows:

  • Raising the top marginal income tax rate from 35% to 39.6%. This is a $709 billion/10 year tax hike
  • Raising the capital gains and dividends rate from 15% to 20%
  • Raising the estate tax rate from 35% to 45% and lowering the estate tax exemption amount from $5 million ($10 million for couples) to $3.5 million. This is a $98 billion/ten year tax hike
  • Capping the value of itemized deductions at the 28% bracket rate. This will effectively cut tax deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, property taxes, state and local income or sales taxes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and unreimbursed employee business expenses. A new means-tested phase-out of itemized deductions limits them even more. This is a $321 billion/ten year tax hike
  • Massive new taxes on energy, including LIFO repeal, Superfund, domestic energy manufacturing, and many others totaling $120 billion over ten years
  • Increasing unemployment payroll taxes by $15 billion over ten years
  • Increasing tax penalties, information reporting, and IRS information sharing. This is a ten-year tax hike of $20 billion.

It is an absolute certainty that the Democrats will lose control of the Senate in 2012. Obama will never get any of his tax increases through a Republican controlled Congress. They are DOA. Therefore, his revenue assumptions are overstated by hundreds of billions every year. Even using his optimistic assumptions, the National Debt would reach $18 trillion in 2015. Using real world numbers, the National Debt will exceed $20 trillion in 2015. In what must be a gag, Obama says that interest on the debt will “only” be $500 billion in 2015. Hysterically, this would mean our debt holders will only require a crumbling empire to pay 2.5% on our debt. How about 5% as a minimum and 10% as a more likely rate? This would put interest on the debt between $1 trillion and $2 trillion per year. The collapse of America is a certainty if Obama’s budgeted spending and deficits play out. Somehow, the majority of Americans are overwhelmed with indifference. 

Overwhelmed By Indifference

Some of my friends sit around every evening
and they worry about the times ahead
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
and the promise of an early bed
You either shut up or get cut up;
they don’t wanna hear about it.
- Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio 

Do you remember when the politicians of both parties were making dire predictions of Great Depressions, economic collapse and 10% unemployment if we didn’t pass their ”save an investment banker” rescue package and the $800 billion “jobs creation” stimulus package? They assured the American people that these expenditures were temporary and were only being made to save the country. Before the crisis, Federal spending was $2.7 trillion. The talking heads at the Fed and in the White House assure us they saved the world. GDP is growing and Obama told me we’ve added over 1 million jobs in the last year. Sounds like the emergency is over. The $400 billion per year of emergency spending should now be rolled back, since it was temporary. Therefore, Obama’s budget surely must going from $3.8 trillion back down to a pre-emergency level of $3.0 trillion in 2012. Not quite. You see, government spending never goes down. His proposal shows $3.7 trillion of spending in FY12. Emergencies never end for a politician in Washington DC. Spending equals power and control over our lives. There will always be another emergency that requires more spending.

You are now hearing the spin from the ideologues on both sides of the aisle about their cost consciousness and desire to restrain spending. It’s all a load of bull. Bush and the Republicans added $4.3 trillion to the National Debt during their reign of error. Obama has matched Bush in the space of 2 1/2 years by adding another $4.3 trillion. There is no effort to cut spending. Obama’s budget shows spending rising from $3.7 trillion in FY12 to $5.7 trillion in FY21. The propaganda and misinformation being spewed from these corrupt politicians is mind numbing.

Again, some perspective is needed to realize how out of control our Federal Government has become. According to the BLS, inflation has risen by 33% since 1999. Real GDP has grown by 23%. The population of the U.S. has grown by 10%. The number of employed Americans has risen by 1.8%. The average pay for a Federal drone (aka worker) has risen by 58%, while the average pay for real workers has risen by only 30%. Therefore, the average non-government employee has seen a decrease in their standard of living as inflation has risen faster than wages. As you can calculate yourself, Federal government spending surged by 124% between 1999 and today. Have you noticed a doubling in service level, competence, educational scores, new energy solutions, or safety and security? What did we get for an extra $2.1 trillion of spending?

    

What we got was exhausting wars of choice, less freedom, less liberties, less safety, more rules, more regulations, more bureaucrats, more corruption, a financial collapse, and a government that has put us on a path to fiscal ruin. We’ve almost tripled spending on Defense. Are we safer? We’ve more than doubled spending on healthcare. Are we healthier? We’ve more than doubled spending on welfare. Are the poor less impoverished? We’ve more than doubled spending on education. Are our children smarter? The Federal government is out of control. When you hear a politician or pundit detailing the horrors of “spending cuts”, please keep in mind they are lying. There will be no cuts until they are forced upon the government by the looming collapse of our economic system.

Year Defense Pensions Health Care Welfare Education
1999 $333 $431 $332 $165 $56
2000 $359 $454 $352 $171 $60
2001 $366 $481 $390 $183 $64
2002 $422 $503 $427 $224 $78
2003 $483 $518 $469 $242 $91
2004 $543 $537 $509 $238 $96
2005 $600 $565 $549 $246 $106
2006 $621 $591 $583 $250 $128
2007 $653 $636 $642 $254 $102
2008 $730 $669 $671 $313 $102
2009 $794 $739 $764 $407 $91
2010 $847 $756 $821 $496 $140
2011F $965 $801 $882 $488 $130
2012B $925 $813 $866 $424 $121
% Increase 177.8% 88.6% 160.8% 157.0% 116.1%

 

Now the question is what do we do about it? I know my first inclination would be to do what that Iraqi reporter did a few years ago during a Bush press conference in Iraq. I’d love to throw my shoes at Obama and every lying corrupt politician in America, but the momentary feeling of pleasure would be snuffed out in seconds by a hail of bullets from the Department of Homeland Security thugs guarding these traitors to the American republic.

 

 

Below is my CHART OF DOOM. Using real world assumptions, the National Debt will reach $25 trillion by 2019. That level of debt would be 130% of a realistic GDP figure. The interest on this level of debt would likely exceed $2 trillion per year, more than the entire Federal spending budget in 2002. This chart will not come to pass. Our economic system will collapse well before we reach a $25 trillion debt level. This is already baked in the cake. There are not enough politicians willing to tell the truth and not enough citizens that want to hear the truth. The result will be default, insolvency, currency collapse, vaporization of wealth, chaos, and pain.  

The only way to avert the coming financial catastrophe is to go Egyptian on their asses. Maybe mobs of Americans surrounding the White House, Federal Reserve building and Wall Street bank headquarters would get their attention. It wouldn’t take a majority, but a minority of angry Americans willing to fight for the future of the country. The anger is building. More people are becoming aware. The internet is working its magic, just as it is doing in the Middle East. Those in control can keep pumping out their lies and propaganda, but the truth is plain to see, if you open your eyes.
 
“It does not take the majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fire freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

BOMBING CAN COMMENCE – WWIII TO FOLLOW

41 comments

Posted on 5th August 2010 by avalon in Economy

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The sabers are rattling. Propaganda is being blared from the loudspeakers. The MSM is issuing the fearmongering alerts. Israel has activated their bought off Congressmen. The Greater Depression is upon us. Elections are only 3 months away. How will the ruling elite distract the American people from their economic plight? I wonder.

Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran

Michel Chossudovsky
Aug 5, 2010

Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads. War preparations to attack Iran are in “an advanced state of readiness”. Hi tech weapons systems including nuclear warheads are fully deployed.

This military adventure has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board since the mid-1990s. First Iraq, then Iran according to a declassified 1995 US Central Command document.

Escalation is part of the military agenda. While Iran, is the next target together with Syria and Lebanon, this strategic military deployment also threatens North Korea, China and Russia.

Since 2005, the US and its allies, including America’s NATO partners and Israel, have been involved in the extensive deployment and stockpiling of advanced weapons systems. The air defense systems of the US, NATO member countries and Israel are fully integrated.

This is a coordinated endeavor of the Pentagon, NATO, Israel’s Defense Force (IDF), with the active military involvement of several non-NATO partner countries including the frontline Arab states (members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative), Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, among others. (NATO consists of 28 NATO member states  Another 21 countries are members of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), The Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative include ten Arab countries plus Israel.)

The roles of Egypt, the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia (within the extended military alliance) is of particular relevance. Egypt controls the transit of war ships and oil tankers through the Suez Canal. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States occupy the South Western coastlines of the Persian Gulf, the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. In early June, “Egypt reportedly allowed one Israeli and eleven U.S. ships to pass through the Suez Canal in ….an apparent signal to Iran. … On June 12, regional press outlets reported that the Saudis had granted Israel the right to fly over its airspace…” (Muriel Mirak Weissbach,  Israel’s Insane War on Iran Must Be Prevented., Global Research, July 31, 2010)

In post 9/11 military doctrine, this massive deployment of military hardware has been defined as part of the so-called  “Global War on Terrorism”, targeting “non-State” terrorist organizations including al Qaeda and so-called “State sponsors of terrorism”,. including Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan.

The setting up of new US military bases, the stockpiling of advanced weapons systems including tactical nuclear weapons, etc. were implemented as part of the pre-emptive defensive military doctrine under the umbrella of the “Global War on Terrorism”.

War and the Economic Crisis

The broader implications of a US-NATO Israel attack on Iran are far-reaching. The war and the economic crisis are intimately related. The war economy is financed by Wall Street, which stands as the creditor of the US administration. The US weapons producers are the recipients of the US Department of Defense multibillion dollar procurement contracts for advanced weapons systems. In turn, “the battle for oil” in the Middle East and Central Asia directly serves the interests of the Anglo-American oil giants.

The US and its allies are “beating the drums of war” at the height of a Worldwide economic depression, not to mention the most serious environmental catastrophe in World history. In a bitter twist, one of the major players (BP) on the Middle East Central Asia geopolitical chessboard, formerly known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, is the instigator of the ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Media Disinformation

Public opinion, swayed by media hype is tacitly supportive, indifferent or ignorant as to the likely impacts of what is upheld as an ad hoc “punitive” operation directed against Iran’s nuclear facilities rather than an all out war. War preparations include the deployment of  US and Israeli produced nuclear weapons. In this context, the devastating consequences of a nuclear war are either trivialised or simply not mentioned. 

The “real crisis” threatening humanity, according to the media and the governments, is not war but global warming. The media will fabricate a crisis where there is no crisis: ”a global scare” — the H1N1 global pandemic– but nobody seems to fear a US sponsored nuclear war. 

The war on Iran is presented to public opinion as an issue among others. It is not viewed as a threat to “Mother Earth” as in the case of global warming. It is not front-page news. The fact that an attack on Iran could lead to escalation and potentially unleash a “global war” is not a matter of concern. 

The Cult of Killing and Destruction

The global killing machine is also sustained by an imbedded cult of killing and destruction which pervades Hollywood movies, not to mention the prime time war and crime TV series on network television. This cult of killing is endorsed by the CIA and the Pentagon which also support (finance) Hollywood productions as an instrument of war propaganda:

“Ex-CIA agent Bob Baer told us, “There’s a symbiosis between the CIA and Hollywood” and revealed that former CIA director George Tenet is currently, “out in Hollywood, talking to studios.” (Matthew Alford and Robbie Graham, Lights, Camera… Covert Action: The Deep Politics of Hollywood, Global Research, January 31, 2009).

The killing machine is deployed at a global level, within the framework of the unified combat command structure. It is routinely upheld by the institutions of government, the corporate media and the mandarins and intellectuals of the New World Order in Washington’s think tanks and strategic studies research institutes, as an unquestioned instrument of peace and global prosperity.

A culture of killing and violence has become imbedded in human consciousness.

War is broadly accepted as part of a societal process: The Homeland needs to be “defended” and protected.

“Legitimized violence” and extrajudicial killings directed against “terrorists” are upheld in western democracies, as necessary instruments of national security.

A “humanitarian war” is upheld by the so-called international community. It is not condemned as a criminal act. Its main architects are rewarded for their contributions to world peace.

With regard to Iran, what is unfolding is the outright legitimization of war in the name of an illusive notion of global security.

A “Pre-emptive” Aerial attack directed against Iran would lead to Escalation

At present there are three separate Middle East Central Asia war theaters: Iraq, Af-Pak, and Palestine.

Were Iran to be the object of a “pre-emptive” aerial attack by allied forces, the entire region, from the Eastern Mediterranean to China’s Western frontier with Afghanistan and Pakistan, would flare up, leading us potentially into a World War III scenario.

The war would also extend into Lebanon and Syria.

It is highly unlikely that the bombings, if they were to be implemented, would be circumscribed to Iran’s nuclear facilities as claimed by US-NATO official statements. What is more probable is an all out air attack on both military and civilian infrastructure, transport systems, factories, public buildings.

Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran wwIIImiddleeast

Iran, with an an estimated ten percent of global oil and gas reserves, ranks third after Saudi Arabia (25 %) and Iraq (11 %) in the size of its reserves. In comparison, the US possesses less than 2.8 % of global oil reserves. The oil reserves of the U.S. are estimated at less than 20 billion barrels. The broader region of the Middle East and Central Asia have oil reserves which are more than thirty times those of the U.S, representing more than 60% of the World’s total reserves. (See Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, Global Research, December 2004).

Of significance is the recent discovery in Iran of the second largest known reserves of natural gas at Soumar and Halgan estimated at 12.4 trillion cubic feet.

Targeting Iran consists not only in reclaiming Anglo-American control over Iran’s oil and gas economy, including pipeline routes, it also challenges the presence and influence of China and Russia in the region.

Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran ww3map2

The planned attack on Iran is part of a coordinated global military road map. It is part of the Pentagon’s “long war”,  a profit driven war without borders, a project of World domination, a sequence of military operations.

US-NATO military planners have envisaged various scenarios of military escalation. They are also acutely aware of the geopolitical implications, namely that the war could extend beyond the Middle East Central Asia region. The economic impacts on the oil markets, etc. have also been analyzed. 

While Iran, Syria and Lebanon are the immediate targets, China, Russia, North Korea, not to mention Venezuela and Cuba are also the object of US threats.

At stake is the structure of military alliances. US-NATO-Israel military deployments including military exercises and drills conducted on Russia and China’s immediate borders bear a direct relationship to the proposed war on Iran. These veiled threats, including their timing, constitute an obvious hint to the former powers of the Cold War era not to intervene in any way which could encroach upon a US-led attack on Iran.

Global Warfare

The medium term strategic objective is to target Iran and neutralize Iran’s allies, through gunboat diplomacy. The longer term military objective is to directly target China and Russia.

While Iran is the immediate target, military deployment is by no means limited to the Middle East and Central Asia. A global military agenda has been formulated.

The deployment of coalition troops and advanced weapons systems by the US, NATO and its partners is occurring simultaneously in all major regions of the World. 

The recent actions of the US military off the coast of North Korea including the conduct of war games are part of a global design.

Directed primarily against Russia and China, US, NATO and allied military exercises, war drills, weapons deployments, etc. are being conducted simultaneously in major geopolitical hotspots.

-The Korean Peninsula, the Sea of Japan, the Taiwan Straits, the South China Sea threatening China.

-The deployment of Patriot missiles in Poland, the early warning center in the Czech republic threatening Russia.

-Naval deployments in Bulgaria, Romania on the Black Sea, threatening Russia.

- US and NATO troops deployments in Georgia.

- A formidable naval deployment in the Persian Gulf including Israeli submarines directed against Iran.

Concurrently the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Caribbean, Central America and the Andean region of South America are areas of ongoing militarization. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the threats are directed against Venezuela and Cuba. 

US “Military Aid”

In turn, large scale weapons transfers have been undertaken under the banner of US “military aid” to selected countries, including a 5 billion dollar arms deal with India which is intended to build India’s capabilities directed against China. (Huge U.S.-India Arms Deal To Contain China, Global Times, July 13, 2010).

“[The] arms sales will improve ties between Washington and New Delhi, and, intentionally or not, will have the effect of containing China’s influence in the region.” quoted in Rick Rozoff, Confronting both China and Russia: U.S. Risks Military Clash With China In Yellow Sea, Global Research, July 16, 2010)

The US has military cooperation agreements with a number of South East Asian countries including Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, involving “military aid” as well as the participation in U.S.-led war games in the Pacific Rim (July -August 2010). These agreements are supportive of weapons deployments directed against The People’s Republic of China. (See Rick Rozoff, Confronting both China and Russia: U.S. Risks Military Clash With China In Yellow Sea, Global Research, July 16, 2010).

Similarly and more directly related to the planned attack on Iran, the US is arming the Gulf States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) with land-based interceptor missiles, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) as well as sea-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors installed on Aegis class warships in the Persian Gulf. (See Rick Rozoff,  NATO’s Role In The Military Encirclement Of Iran, Global Research, February 10, 2010).

The Timetable of Military Stockpiling and Deployment

What is crucial in regards to US weapons transfers to partner countries and allies is the actual timing of delivery and deployment. The launch of a US sponsored military operation would normally occur once these weapons systems are in place, effectively deployed with the implementation of personnel training. (e.g India).

What we are dealing with is a carefully coordinated global military design controlled by the Pentagon, involving the combined armed forces of more than forty countries. This global multinational military deployment is by far the largest display of advanced weapons systems in World history. 

In turn, the US and its allies have established new military bases in different parts of the world.  “The Surface of the Earth is Structured as a Wide Battlefield”. (See Jules Dufour, The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases , Global Research, July 1, 2007).

The Unified Command structure divided up into geographic Combatant Commands is predicated on a strategy of militarization at the global level. “The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Brand new military bases have been built since September 11, 2001 in seven countries. In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide.” (See Jules Dufour, The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases , Global Research, July 1, 2007

 

 Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran unified command world map1

Source: DefenseLINK-Unified Command Plan

World War III Scenario

“The World Commanders’ Areas of Responsibility” (See Map above) defines the Pentagon’s global military design, which is one of World conquest.  This military deployment is occurring in several regions simultaneously under the coordination of the regional US Commands, involving the stockpiling of US made weapons systems by US forces and partner countries, some of which are former enemies, including Vietnam and Japan.

The present context is characterised by a global military build-up controlled by one World superpower, which is using its numerous allies to trigger regional wars.

In contrast, the Second World War was a conjunction of separate regional war theaters. Given the communications technologies and weapons systems of the 1940s, there was no strategic “real time” coordination in military actions between broad geographic regions

Global warfare is based on the coordinated deployment of a single dominant military power, which oversees the actions of its allies and partners.

With the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Second World War was characterized by the use of conventional weapons. The planning of  a global war relies on the militarization of outer space. Were a war directed against iran to be launched, it would not only use nuclear weapons, the entire gamut of new advanced weapons systems, including electrometric weapons and environmental modification techniques (ENMOD) would be used.

The United Nations Security Council

The UN Security Council adopted in early June a fourth round of sweeping sanctions against The Islamic Republic of Iran, which included an expanded arms embargo as well “tougher financial controls”. In a bitter irony, this resolution was passed within days of the United Nations Secrity Council’s outright refusal to adopt a motion condemning Israel for its attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters. 

Both China and Russia, pressured by the US, have endorsed the UNSC sanctions’ regime, to their own detriment. Their decision within the UNSC contributes to weakening their own military alliance, the Shanghai  Cooperation organization (SCO), in which Iran has observer status. The Security Council resolution freezes China and Russia’s respective bilateral military cooperation and trade agreements with Iran. It has serious repercussions on Iran’s air defense system which in part depends on Russian technology and expertise.

The Security Council resolution grants a de facto “green light” to wage a pre-emptive war against Iran.

The American Inquisition: Building a Political Consensus for War

In chorus, the Western media has branded Iran as a threat to global security in view of its alleged (non-existent) nuclear weapons program. Echoing official statements, the media is now demanding the implementation of punitive bombings directed against Iran so as to safeguard Israel’s security.

The Western media is beating the drums of war. The purpose is to tacitly instil, through repeated media reports, ad nauseam, within people’s inner consciousness, the notion that the Iranian threat is real and that the Islamic Republic should be “taken out”.

A consensus building process to wage war is similar to the Spanish inquisition. It requires and demands submission to the notion that war is a humanitarian endeavor.

Known and documented, the real threat to global security emanates from the US-NATO-Israel alliance, yet realities in an inquisitorial environment are turned upside down: the warmongers are committed to peace, the victims of war are presented as the protagonists of war. Whereas in 2006, almost two thirds of Americans were opposed to military action against Iran, a recent Reuter-Zogby February 2010 poll suggests that 56 % of Americans favor a US-NATO military action against Iran. 

Building a political consensus which is based on an outright lie cannot, however, rely solely on the official position of those who are the source of the lie.

The antiwar movement in the US, which has in part been infiltrated and co-opted, has taken on a weak stance with regard to Iran. The antiwar movement is divided. The emphasis has been on wars which have already occurred (Afghanistan, Iraq) rather than forcefully opposing wars which are being prepared and which are currently on the Pentagon’s drawing board. Since the inauguration of the Obama administration, the antiwar movement has lost some of its impetus.

Moreover, those who  actively oppose the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, do not necessarily oppose the conduct of “punitive bombings” directed Iran, nor do they categorize these bombings as an act of war, which could potentially be a prelude to World War III.

The scale of antiwar protest in relation to Iran has been minimal in comparison to the mass demonstrations which preceded the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq.

The real threat to global security emanates from the US-NATO-Israel alliance.

The Iran operation is not being opposed in the diplomatic arena by China and Russia; it has the support of the governments of the frontline Arab states which are integrated into the NATO sponsored Mediterranean dialogue. It also has the tacit support of Western public opinion.

We call upon people across the land, in America,  Western Europe, Israel, Turkey and around the world to rise up against this military project, against their governments which are supportive of military action against Iran, against the media which serves to camouflage the devastating implications of a war against Iran.

The military agenda support a profit driven destructive global economic system which impoverishes large sectors of the world population.

This war is sheer madness.

World War III is terminal. Albert Einstein understood the perils of nuclear war and the extinction of life on earth, which has already started with the radioactive contamination resulting from depleted uranium. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

The media, the intellectuals, the scientists and the politicians, in chorus, obfuscate the untold truth, namely that war using nuclear warheads destroys humanity, and that this complex process of gradual destruction has already commenced.

When the lie becomes the truth there is no turning backwards.

When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor, Justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act. 

The Lie must be exposed for what it is and what it does.

It sanctions the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children.

It destroys families and people. It destroys the commitment of people towards their fellow human beings.

It prevents people from expressing their solidarity for those who suffer. It upholds war and the police state as the sole avenue.

It destroys both nationalism and internationalism.

Breaking the lie means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force.

This profit driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies. 

Let us reverse the tide.

Challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corproate lobby groups wich support them  

Break the American inquisition.

Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.

Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.

Bring home the troops. 

Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.