U.S. MIDDLE CLASS: THE REAL WALKING DEAD

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Posted on 25th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Jesse

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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Posted on 25th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“The big changes always take longer than we expect. And once they start, they come much more quickly than we had imagined. So we must take the markets as they are. There is no sense to criticize a lifeboat for not being a motorcycle.Do we need lifeboats? Do you trust the central banks and the politicians to safeguard your wealth and the integrity of the money and the financial system? Only you can provide the answers for your own peace of mind.”

Jesse

The American Dream By Joe the Angry Hawaiian

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Posted on 20th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Jesse

This is from the Big Island.  The natives seem restless.

“Democracy in a free market capitalistic society today only exists in the imaginations of sleep-walkers in the American Dream. The idea of honest, hard work being suitably rewarded has become a mind-numbing slogan that is now just beginning to wear off in the minds of some Americans.

While Americans were working and playing hard, our representational democracy has evolved into a political system that has been completely and utterly bought by the moneyed interests, and is now a protection racket for their accumulation of wealth and advantageous positions of power and influence. We live in a land where untaxed off-shored wealth is ignored, and the whole tax system has been customized to suit their personal needs.

We live in a fictitious land where multi-national corporations are legally given Frankenstein-like status as a red-blooded American, and their money has become their vocal chords. Politicians, while posturing that they are working for the people, are nothing but lobbyists for the rich, which most of them are, or assured to be upon leaving office to be rewarded with speaking fees, or think tank positions by their powerful benefactors.

This unreal, and unjust dream-land is kept alive by obscuring smoke and brightly lit mirrors of the mass media that is completely controlled by a relatively few corporate interests. Combined with idealized statistics provided by the government we have been lulled into an illusion that is both numbing and dumbing. To realize there is even a problem, attention spans must be able to last for longer than a 60 second advertisement.

The hard rock reality of the great American experiment is being felt by most everyone with a wallet or purse. The financial system is run by the un-Federal Reserve Banks. The privately owned US Central Bank gives money which they make out of thin air to the boys who run the biggest Banks for less than .25%. As the statistics reveal, this money rarely goes far from the hands of the rich. Their fingers grasp this money so tightly that the so called trickle is now a mere tiny dribble that seeps slowly to those below.

The US dollar is a fiat money con-game sustained by the illusion of American exceptionalism. This confidence in America as a moral force for good has been destroyed by its self-serving hypocrisy, its torture, the poor performance of its political drama queens, and endless wars without end. But things are changing. No longer can the US declare an economic embargo that brings countries to their knees, especially since the US itself is up to it’s myopic third eye in debt.

I believe the problem that we will be facing soon enough is not the economic imbalance of the rich and poor in this country. This unequal lopsidedness can be maintained for many years, especially with a militarized police force.

The real problem is those beyond the reach of the system like Russia and China and the rest of the BRICS. When they decide that they have had enough of our self-serving antics, and renounce the US dollar as the world currency, then folks, that’s when we have a problem.

Until then nothing changes, since most members of our society can’t even remember there is problem or what caused it.

 

Domestic Democracy or Foreign Imperialism, But Not Both

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Posted on 18th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

“Once you go down the path of empire, you inevitably start a process of overstretch, of tendencies toward bankruptcy, and, in the rest of the world, a tendency toward the uniting of people who are opposed to your imperialism simply on grounds that it’s yours, but maybe also on the grounds that you’re incompetent at it.
Indeed, one wonders whether we have already crossed our Rubicon, whether we can go back. I don’t know.
The Department of Defense is not, today, a department of defense. It’s an alternative seat of government on the south bank of the Potomac River. And, typical of militarism, it’s expanding into many, many other areas in our life that we have, in our traditional political philosophy, reserved for civilians. Domestic policing: they’re slowly expanding into that.
So, what do I suggest probably will happen? I think we will stagger along under a façade of constitutional government, as we are now, until we’re overcome by bankruptcy.”
Chalmers Johnson
That bankruptcy will not only be financial, but moral and spiritual.  It will be a fiat culture, that is, reality will be defined as whatever power says it will be.
Below is a talk given by Chalmers Johnson in April, 2007
This was before the financial crisis and bailouts.
And before the Reform President Obama largely ratified the abuses of his predecessor and given over the welfare of the people to the corporations and the moneyed interests, finance and militarism, the pen and the gun, the bullet and the bribe.

WALL STREET – NOT TOO LAZY TO STEAL

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Posted on 16th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

Swiss National Bank Fights To Block Public Gold Vote

“Switzerland’s central bank is flexing its muscles to defend its cap on the Swiss franc. Its battle to fend off deflation – in which it sees the exchange rate as its chief weapon – is already complicated by the slide in the euro that followed European Central Bank easing.

Now the SNB is fighting on a new front: to block a populist motion that would force it to almost treble the proportion of reserves held in gold.”

Financial Times – Swiss National Bank Fights To Block the Public Gold Vote

Crushing populist notions seems to be quite fashionable amongst the better classes of the West. Unless of course those notions are taking place somewhere else that has fallen out of their favor. Then they are all for democracy don’t you know.

Sometimes I just don’t have the words.   To watch the proud Scots go down to fear-mongering by the financial establishment and their pampered princes is bad enough.  But to hear that this may also happen to the Swiss people whether or not they believe in the Banksters makes me sick at heart.

Gold and to a lesser extent silver caught a flight to safety bid today as US equities were in full meltdown mode this morning on bad economic news that accentuates that, despite all the facades and window dressing, there is no sustainable recovery.

I have to chuckle at the Fed choosing to end QE3 in October.   As I recall, that last two times the Fed ended QE the equity markets dropped about ten to fifteen percent.

And so we have the US equity markets, which had been pushed to an obvious artificial high for the year to date by the usual Banks trying to get the largest IPO ever out the door in September.

And the Fed sticks to their plan to end QE 3 in October, an infamously volatile month for stocks.  Why didn’t they just choose October 29 for the official end date, and call it the Black Wednesday Stock Declines Initiative?

Well there is still some short term hope for the stock markets because this is a stock option expiration and the algos are able to shove this pig around the plate when the panic subsides, as we have seen.  One thing you have to give Wall Street:  they are not too lazy to steal.

Fundamental analysis is passé, and we are operating in a fiat culture:  whatever power decrees must be true. And it is not likely that you will hear otherwise, except in conversations in the coffee houses and cafes.

Fat Lady Singing: The Alibaba IPO Top-Ticked the Market, Precisely

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Posted on 15th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.”

William Shakespeare, King Lear

Wall Street puffed up the stock market indices to get the ‘largest ever’ IPO of Alibaba out the door.

Just in case you still had any illusions about these being ‘free markets,’ as if such a thing can even exist without the hard work of honest and objective referees.

After they took that piggy to market, the underwriters and the market manager (GS) let the markets go their own way.

Home again, home again, jiggety jog.

The One Percent’s Plot to Overthrow Democracy In America In 1933

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Posted on 13th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

The Great Depression, the conflicts that tested the Republic to its foundations, and the struggle to maintain the commitment to freedom and democracy against powerful interests.

The highly decorated Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler testified in 1934 that he had been recruited by the representatives of powerful industrialists who asked him to bring the Bonus Army back to Washington and take the government over by force from then President Franklin Roosevelt. This was a scheme that was known as The Business Plot.

These wealthy business people were not prosecuted and the incident was quietly swept aside in the interest of domestic confidence and peace.

If Not At Home, Then the Establishment of Oligarchy Abroad

After the failure to overturn democracy in the US, some in the American ‘One Percent’ became powerful supporters and business associates of Mussolini, and even of the German Third Reich. This business relationship continued long after the criminal brutality of these regimes had become quite obvious to all civilized people.

Their involvement in the rise and promotion of fascist ideology seems to have been largely forgotten.

Corporate Media and Censorship In America

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Posted on 10th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Guest Post by Jesse

“Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”

John F. Kennedy, The President and the Press, 27 April 1961

“There are men, now in power in this country, who do not respect dissent, who cannot cope with turmoil, and who believe that the people of America are ready to support repression as long as it is done with a quiet voice and a business suit.”

John Lindsay

This link below is a fairly long and very interesting discussion of the recent crisis in the Ukraine, and what some of the bigger picture implications and reasons for it may be.

However, I am starting this video towards the end, so that you can hear one key point that Professor Stephen Cohen of Princeton makes that is in my opinion essential.

He states that there is no longer a place in the popular mainstream media for debate over the different positions and opinions on key policy questions outside of a narrow range of acceptable views as decided by a few major media outlets. If there is a dissenting view that is distasteful to the powerful interests that influence the government, they will not allow it to be heard or discussed rationally, except perhaps in a few scholarly journals out of the reach of most.

And in this I think he is absolutely correct. And it is not just about issues such as a new Cold War, but on a broad range of social and financial topics as well. Journalism as I once knew it no longer exists except in select locations on the Internet.

Staged discussions between paid ‘strategists’ from the two major political parties with commentary from a few corporate media representatives is not journalism, and does not provide the platform for the serious discussion of issues that affect all of us.

The seeds for the decline of American mainstream media were sown by the overturn in 1987 of the Fairness Doctrine which required broadcasters to air both side of controversial subjects, and not just the officially sanctioned sides of a carefully selected and phrased question or topic.

And the Communications Act of 1934 was further gutted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which permitted corporate conglomerates to acquire and establish powerful monopolies across the press, radio, and television.

I am finding too many cases where topics are being effectively censored by implicit agreement of the corporate media to either not cover a story, or to permit only certain aspects and views of an issue to be heard.

I am no big fan of the governments of either Russia or China. It is the oligarchs who like the way these statist governments operate, but only when they are making deals with them and getting their way. It was Bill Gates who came back from a tour of China and said, ‘This is my kind of capitalism.’

I have been to both Russia and China, and I prefer neither of those brands of oligarchy and monopoly in alliance with the State. And so I am concerned about the modern attraction by the powerful in the West to emulate them, to manage the news, to establish monopolies, and to hide behind secrecy as they engage in undemocratic backroom deals with powerful interests as a standard matter of doing the business of the nation.

This de facto censoring of the news in the West is not a healthy situation. And so we must get information about important topics where we can. The coverage of too many news topics, from Snowden to the financial crisis to the Ukraine, have been disgracefully one sided and carry the stink of propaganda wrapped in a press under the thumb of a few moneyed interests.

You may wish to listen to the entire interview which I found to be most interesting. Please click on the link below to start the interview at the point of discussing censorship.

Stephen Cohen, The New Cold War: It’s Five Minutes to Midnight

Related: National Publications Refuse Journalist Bill Cohan’s Expose of Price Rigging in the Silver Market
Salon, Obama’s Unprecedented War on Whistleblowers