STREET FIGHTING MAN

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Posted on 12th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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I’ve posted this March 2009 article by Doug Casey a number of times in the past. The article is five years old and it gets more real by the day. Contrarians and skeptics always tend to be early with their predictions because they see the future clearer than the average zombie American. They are actually using their brains and connecting dots. They understand history. They understand math. They understand human nature.

The sections about Civil Unrest and particularly how sociopaths are drawn into the police and armed forces at times like these are very pertinent. Look at the militarization of local police forces by the DHS that has happened since Casey wrote this article. Look at the military training exercises in major U.S. cities. Look at the total lock down of the city of Boston and violations of the Fourth Amendment by the government psychopaths running this country.  Look at the revelations by Snowden about the government surveillance of every American citizen.

His points about the Germans being a highly educated society with centuries of creating art, literature, and architecture needs to be understood. A once civilized society can go down hill rapidly. Open your eyes. If it happened in Germany, it can happen here.

This article has never been more relevant than it is today. Are you ready to be a street fighting man or woman?

 

STREET FIGHTING MAN

From Doug Casey
Chairman, Casey Research

For decades, Doug Casey, legendary contrarian investor and financial best-seller author, has been foretelling the advent of a “Greater Depression.” Recently, as we are drawing closer to feeling its full impact, Doug has been elaborating on the economic ifs, hows, and whats of the imminent crisis. In this article, he focuses his, as usual, politically not-so-correct musings on how it will change the face of American society.

 

Longtime readers know my standard response to questions about the severity of the Greater Depression: It’s going to be worse than even I think it’s going to be. “Coming Collapse” books will undoubtedly accumulate into an entire genre in the next few years, as they did a generation ago. This time it’s not just fear mongering, although things won’t get as bad as in James Kunstler’s book The Long Emergency and certainly not as rough as in the movies Road Warrior or I Am Legend. But it’s a good bet that a lot more is going to change than just some features of the financial system. Let’s engage in a little speculation as to the shape of things to come.

 

I’ve long believed that this depression would not only be much different but much worse than the unpleasantness of the ’30s and ’40s. In those days, only a few people were involved in the financial markets; now almost anyone with any assets at all is a player. In those days, there were no credit cards, consumer debts, or student loans; now those things are ubiquitous. It’s true that nobody will lose any money because of bank failures this time around; instead, everybody is going to suffer a loss from a collapse of the U.S. dollar, which is much worse.

 

In the ’30s and ’40s, the U.S. population was still largely rural in character, including people living in the cities. The average American was just off the farm and had a lot of practical skills as well as traditional values. Now he has skills mainly at paper shuffling or in highly specialized technologies, and it doesn’t seem to me that the values of hard work, self-reliance, honesty, prudence, and the rest of the Boy Scout virtues are as common as they once were. In those days, the U.S. was a creditor to the world and the world’s factories to boot; now there are perhaps 8 trillion dollars outside the U.S. waiting to pour back in, and the country is all about consuming, not producing. Even with what the New Deal brought in, there was vastly less regulation and litigation, leaving the economy with much greater flexibility to adjust and innovate; today, few people do anything without consulting counsel.

 

Of course things are immensely better today than 80 years ago in at least one important way: technology. I love technology, but unfortunately, improvements in that area do nothing to prevent an economic depression or many of the ancillary problems that will likely accompany this one. In fact, it can be a hindrance in some ways.

 

So, accepting the premise of a depression, let’s examine some of its likely consequences.

 

Civil Unrest

 

I’ve puzzled over who will go into the streets as the depression deepens and when they’ll do it. Nikolai Kondratieff, of Long Wave fame, was of the opinion that the natives tend to get restless at economic peaks (like the late 1960s, when riots broke out all over the world) and at economic troughs (like the 1930s, when the same thing happened). His reasoning is not dissimilar from that of Strauss and Howe, authors of The Fourth Turning. At peaks, people are just feeling their oats, which can evidence itself domestically in riots inspired by rising expectations, and internationally in optional sport wars, like that in Viet Nam. Such peak-time disturbances are troublesome but don’t really threaten society. That’s largely because when times are good, people feel they have a lot to lose and they believe things can get even better. In prosperous times, people don’t usually feel like overthrowing the government or transforming the basis of society.

 

Not so at economic troughs. People believe they have little to lose, they’re eager to hang those they believe responsible for their problems, and they’ll listen to radical or violent proposals. We’re now just entering what will likely be the worst economic trough since the Industrial Revolution.

 

But why do humans tend to riot when the going gets rough? How can they think that solves anything? Do they believe it’s going to make their jobs or money reappear? Perhaps I ask that question only because I can’t see myself rioting. You and I might discount the thought of Americans going wild, because we wouldn’t likely join them. But we’re not, I suspect, the average American. People, throughout history, have always been prone to violence when times get tough. Is there any reason that should change now?

 

Recently, there have been — really for the first time in this downturn — reports of large, angry demonstrations all over the world. The UK, France, Eastern Europe, now China. If a place like Iceland, as placid and homogeneous as any in the world, can blow up, then any place can. And probably will.

 

A rioter is typically an angry person looking for vengeance because he blames someone else for his problem. So far, rioters seem to be directing their attention at governments. Correct target, of course, but they don’t have the rationale quite right. They’re not angry because governments inflated the currency, promoted fractional reserve banking, and nurtured all the cockamamie socialist programs that caused this crisis. Not at all; they rather liked all that. They’re angry only because their governments haven’t adequately protected them from the consequences of what they did. So as conditions worsen, we can expect governments worldwide to pull out absolutely all the stops to show they’re “doing something.” And round up scapegoats to satisfy the mob and divert anger from themselves.

 

I fully expect civil unrest to spread everywhere, simply because the depression will spread everywhere. It will be worst in places that have been most overextended, most debt leveraged, most urban, and have the largest numbers of unemployed workers — the U.S., Europe, and China.

 

In the last couple of generations, most rioters in the U.S. have been students who basically just raise some hell on their campuses and inner-city blacks who burn down their own neighborhoods. Maybe the students who’ve wasted a huge amount of time and money in gender studies and sociology will get angry as they figure out they’re not going to have jobs when they graduate — forget about making $100,000 plus as an investment banker. Maybe blacks, who have apparently been hurt the worst by subprime lending and still may be the last hired and first fired, will take to the streets. Maybe. But I think it’s more likely the turn of the Mexicans and other Latinos. They’re the ones raided by la migra and stopped at checkpoints, whether they’re legal or not. They’re the ones who may be implicated in the wave of violence flowing up from northern Mexico. There is a real strain of revanchist nationalism throughout their community that hopes for the reconquista of lands the Anglos stole in the 19th century. And they have all the other problems you might expect with an ethnic underclass.

 

But will ordinary middle-class Americans riot? I don’t expect it until later in the game. Union members will be treated well by the Obama regime. And most whites live in the suburbs; it’s tough to get people who live in detached houses out into the streets. Ozzie and Harriet just don’t seem likely to burn down their house, even if the bank owns it. Besides, a lot of the parents are on Prozac and their kids on Ritalin. Of course, on the other hand, most of the people who perpetrated mass murders over the last 25 years were on some type of psychiatric drug.

 

Is there a catalyst that could turn your neighbors into a mob? Two possibilities are gun control and higher taxes, discussed below. But my guess is that riots will be headed off by the police, who are far more numerous, militarized, and better equipped than ever before, and by the military itself. You may think the cops and the military (and today most cops are exmilitary) would never turn on their fellow citizens, but you’d be wrong. Cops and soldiers are far more loyal to their colleagues and their organizations than they are to either some constitution or, absolutely, the mob that’s throwing bricks and bottles at them. They are also among the forces pumping for gun control.

 

Gun Control

 

This issue is potentially explosive. Although, sadly, gun culture in the U.S. isn’t nearly what it was even a generation or two ago, it’s still pretty strong in some regions. Most states make the open or concealed carrying of handguns a simple matter, and there’s evidence lots of people are taking advantage of it. Personally, I find it hard to fathom the psychology of people who want to disarm society. From a strictly practical point of view, the idea of having to engage in hand-to-hand combat, half naked, with an intruder in the middle of the night is most unappealing. Especially since the odds of that happening are going way up in the near future. Everyone should have a gun in his nightstand, at a minimum.

 

But that’s only a fraction of what gun ownership is really about. A free person should have the right to possess whatever he desires. End of story. And only slaves, or those with a slave mentality, comply with no thought of resistance when they’re told what they can or cannot own, especially if compliance means disarming themselves.

 

I’ve often wondered what would have happened in Germany after Kristallnacht if every Jew had been armed. None were, of course, because strict gun control had been imposed shortly after Hitler came to power, and like good little lambs, the population complied with the law. But my guess is that few would have defended themselves against the Gestapo anyway. Partly because they would have figured they were certain to get into serious trouble if they resisted, and partly because they couldn’t imagine the fate that actually awaited them. It wasn’t until the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1944, very late in the game, that people could finally read the writing on the wall and summoned the courage to fight.

 

If you follow these things, you’ll note that there’s been a lot of buzz about severe firearms regulation since Obama’s inauguration. Bills are being discussed about things like a national firearms registry, reinstituting the so-called “assault weapons” ban, requiring secure locks on all weapons, prohibiting the import of ammunition, and levying a substantial tax on ammunition, among other things. No outright prohibition, because they know that would catalyze gun owners. But they keep dialing up the pressure, moving toward a de facto ban.

 

I’ll guess there are at least two to three million Americans who adhere to a couple of succinct mottos: 1. You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers, and 2. It’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six. This is a group that could catch fire at some point. But I don’t think it’s imminent, simply because the chances of outright prohibition of gun ownership are slim. The analogy of the frog in a gradually heating pot is apt. The taxpayer must also feel like a frog.

 

Tax Revolt

 

State and municipal governments all over the country are operating with rising outlays and radically declining incomes and so are running large deficits that add to their already massive debt. Since they can’t print dollars, they’ll raise taxes further, as New York and California have recently done. Most people don’t have any philosophical objection to taxes; they accept them, considering them part of the human condition, like disease or death. That’s unfortunate, of course, in that taxation is neither moral nor necessary. But such fine points of philosophy absolutely never enter the public debate.

 

What will be debated is the level of taxation. The last time we had widespread agitation on taxes was during the last serious recession, in the late ’70s. The result was things like Prop 13 (which capped property taxes in California for some homeowners) and the Reagan tax reforms.

 

I expect there will be serious whining about taxes this time around as well, but little will come of it. To start with, like every other organism on the planet, government puts its own interests first; society comes in a distant second. Actually a distant third, after powerful individuals who are wired to politicians and bureaucrats, and groups that hire the right lobbyists. Every level of government is more desperate for money than ever. Your taxes are going through the roof, and you’re going to see lots of new ones. Don’t expect any support from Boobus americanus. About half don’t earn enough to pay income tax. Most are net tax beneficiaries. And low taxes have somehow become associated with the late disastrous crackup boom and the corrupt Bush regime. So a popular tax revolt looks like a real long shot.

 

At the same time, a portion of the productive people in the country feel genuinely resentful at having to subsidize the losers and ne’er-do-wells. What are they going to do? I think they have only two alternatives. Tax evasion, which is both hard and increasingly risky, since the IRS will be hiring plenty of freshly unemployed financial workers. And expatriation. My guess is that scores of thousands of Americans are going to make “the Chicken Run” (as Rhodesians called it) in the next few years.

 

But the biggest danger to your personal freedom and your wealth, as well as to the U.S. as a whole, is likely to be war.

 

War

 

It always impressed me as odd that while Obama ran on a platform of ending the pointless and counterproductive adventure in Iraq, he wanted to ramp up the war in Afghanistan. What possible reason could anyone have for wanting to fight an optional war in what may be the most backward and xenophobic place on the planet? Even if every Afghan made a personal pledge of Death to America (which they eventually will, thanks to the occupation), who cares? Who cares if the Pygmies of the Ituri Rainforest or the Yànomamö of the Amazon join them? It’s strange that no one ever questioned Obama on this nonsensical and contradictory policy.

 

Now it seems he’s very slow in leaving Iraq. I expect the reason is that the U.S. has built elaborate bases the size of small cities that they’re loathe to leave, partly on general principles and partly because they might be needed to attack Iran or Pakistan. The Obama regime is literally asking for trouble in both places. And partly because he knows that the collaborators set up to run the Iraqi government will promptly be deposed, and probably executed, by whoever might win the civil war that would ensue if the U.S. really left. The USG is apparently set on having a stooge in charge of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

The National Security State has a life of its own. Renditions haven’t been stopped. Guantanamo still operates, as do other overseas prisons holding thousands. Military spending not only won’t be cut, it will likely rise.

 

Wars start for all kinds of reasons. But tough economic times probably rank number one as a cause. The 1930s were a natural overture for the ’40s. Politicians like to find a foreign enemy to blame problems on. Theft of foreign resources can seem like a good idea. And part of the economic mythology fabricated by the malevolent and repeated by the ignorant is that WWII cured the last depression.

 

Will there be another 9/11? It’s a good bet, but there’s no way it will involve airplanes; the 50,000 zombies employed by TSA serve absolutely no purpose except to accustom Americans to being treated like prisoners. One possibility is the surreptitious placement of one or more nuclear devices in U.S. cities. As Pakistan disintegrates, their nuclear arsenal may fall into quite irresponsible hands. Or, perhaps, devices could be procured in a number of ways from Russia, India, Israel, or North Korea. Another, much more likely scenario is a repetition of what happened in Mumbai recently. A small force of dedicated and well-armed operatives could create unbelievable havoc in a U.S. city or in several at once. And probably will. Americans just don’t appreciate how little people in the Islamic world like having aggressive, blue-eyed teenagers kick their doors down in the middle of the night, among other pranks.

 

You may be thinking that, with the American military the most powerful in the world, it’s not about to lose a war. I question that. The bloated military is a major factor in bankrupting the U.S., and a bankrupt country can’t win a war. Its $6 billion carriers, $1 billion B-2s and $400 million F-22s are all built to fight a kind of enemy that no longer exists. They’re sitting ducks for massive numbers of cheap missiles and jihadists that can swarm them where they’re parked. The military wanted to fight WWI with cavalry and WWII with battleships. They’re seemingly doomed to a repeat performance in the next major conflict.

 

In short, everything on this horizon looks very grim for a long time to come. Incidentally, the U.S. military is by far the world’s largest single consumer of oil.

 

Peak Oil

 

There hasn’t been much discussion of this since oil has come down from its July 2008 peak near $150 to its recent low of close to $30. Longtime readers know I’m philosophically quite reluctant to give credence to any theory that would seem to imply we can run out of anything. I come down firmly on the side of Julian Simon. Which is to say resources are essentially infinite, and technology and capital can solve almost any problem in the material world. That said, there are problems that need to be solved. One is presented by the geological theory of M. King Hubbert, who predicted in the 1950s that the production of light sweet crude in the continental U.S. would go into irreversible decline by the early ’70s. He was correct. He also predicted that the same would happen on a worldwide basis in the first decade of this century. It now appears production has maxed out at about 80 million barrels a day and is headed down.

 

This isn’t the time or place for a detailed discussion of why and how this is true. It’s certainly not the end of the world, as some appear to believe. Just a major inconvenience. Practically infinite power is available from a wide variety of sources, starting with nuclear. The problem is that oil is a particularly concentrated, convenient, and (in the past) cheap source, so the entire world’s economy has been built around it. It will take a decade or so to adjust to the much, much higher prices that will be needed to bring consumption into balance with production. And absolutely everything that relies on oil is going to become much more expensive — especially transportation (for obvious reasons) and food. Food is interesting in that mass production is highly mechanized and oil intensive, as well as fertilizer and pesticide intensive — which again rely on hydrocarbons. The oilfood problem is aggravated by so much of what we eat being shipped very long distances.

 

Anything is possible, of course, but I think the most likely scenario is simply a large reorientation in patterns of production and consumption as a result of $200 oil. This would be tough enough by itself. But it’s going to put tremendous extra strain on the average American at exactly the time he’s already under maximum strain from a shrinking economy.

 

Right now things aren’t so bad, because energy prices are low. The depression has cut oil consumption and, conveniently, prices as well. That’s taken a lot of pressure off the average American’s pocket book and at a felicitous moment. And prices may stay low for a year or so as people the world over economize. But oil consumption doesn’t need to rise to put pressure on the price; from here, the main pressure is likely to come from falling supply, not rising demand. So oil prices are likely to start heading up, for strictly geological reasons, even as the depression grows deeper. That will prove most uncomfortable. And will have significant consequences for two mainstays of U.S. culture: cars and suburbia.

 

Collapse of Suburbia and the Car Culture

 

Suburbs are creatures of the automobile. I’ve been a car buff my entire life. I love cars for their technology. I love them because they’re fun. But most of all, I love them because even more than the ship, the train, and the airplane, they liberate the average person to — cheaply and quickly – go anywhere he wants, whenever he wants. They’ve made it possible for people to break the mold of the medieval serf tied to the community he was born into. I don’t think cars are going to disappear, but the internal combustion engine is, as a result of Peak Oil, on its way out. I suspect battery power will start rapidly replacing gasoline and diesel. The problem lies in the transition, which is going to be expensive, considering the huge sunk investment in the current technology. There’s going to be an interim period, when people can’t afford to drive their pickups, SUVs, or practically anything else hundreds of miles a week to distant work places and kids’ soccer games or on promiscuous shopping trips. But neither will they be able to afford a new electric car.

 

American culture revolves around the car. The car facilitated the growth of suburbs and exurbs, shopping malls and big boxes, most of which will become completely uneconomical with the rapid decline of the car. That’s entirely apart from the suburbs and exurbs being exactly where people already can’t make their mortgage payments. And can’t afford to shop. They can’t get by even at current bargain oil prices in the $40 to $50 range. It’s going to be much tougher when gas is $8 a gallon; if they can get a job, they’re going to have to live within a few miles of it.

 

Entirely apart from that, people aren’t going to be buying much stuff to store in the houses they can’t afford. As George Carlin pointed out in his famous routine about “Stuff” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac), that’s what houses are for — storing stuff. And people are going to be liquidating what they have, not buying more, when they won’t even have a proper place to store it. I’d hate to be in the furniture business over the next decade. Even if unemployment weren’t going much higher.

 

Unemployment

 

The official numbers say unemployment is 7.6%. But just as the definition of inflation keeps evolving to accommodate a number that looks better than the reality, the same is true for unemployment figures. John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics (www.shadowstats.com) computes the figures the way the government used to — mainly by adding back in parttime workers and those considered “discouraged.” They show 17.5% as the historically comparable unemployment figure.

 

Society has been living above its means for well over a generation, long enough to ingrain unsustainable patterns of production and consumption in the economy. Did everybody need/have a personal trainer 20 years ago? Was “shopping” a major recreational activity in the days before everyone had a pocketful of credit cards? Do all kitchens really need granite counter tops? I think not. As people cut down to the bare basics to enable themselves to rebuild capital, millions and millions more workers are going to have to find other things to do. And, while they’re figuring out what, cut back their consumption drastically as well.

 

I suspect the readjustment will push unemployment to at least the levels of the Great Depression, which would mean going past 25%. But some will argue: “Yes, but we now have a safety net to catch the fallen. That will make it less serious.” No, it will make it more serious and more prolonged as well. The so-called safety net consumes capital that could have been used productively. It decreases the urgency for each person to find a solution to his own problems. And it has given people a false sense of security, leaving them to save less for a rainy day. The looming collapse of things like Social Security and Medicare will be a bigger disaster than all the banks failing. The Social Security “trust fund,” which has been a swindle, a Ponzi scheme in slow motion, and a moral wrecking ball almost from its beginning, is going to go much deeper into the red. Before they collapse, Medicare, Medicaid, and their cousins will be expanded by some form of free care for the legions of the newly unemployed. Will doctors and nurses be made indentured servants (such as through mandatory voluntary community service) to provide care for everyone who may need it? Perhaps not as long as taxes can be raised further on the middle class.

 

Sorry this has all been so gloomy so far. Now that the mood is set for recounting all the problems that are going to beset us, some of you are probably saying to yourselves: “Yes, and that’s on top of global warming.”

 

Global Smarming

 

This is on just about everybody’s list of Big Problems. Except mine. I’m not a professional climatologist, or even an amateur, so I lack any technical qualifications for commenting on the subject – like almost everybody else who does, prominently including Al Gore. But my guess is that in the next decade, the global warming hysteria (and that’s exactly what I believe it is) will be viewed, with embarrassment, as one of the great episodes in the history of the delusions of the crowd.

 

Have you noticed that “global warming” is gradually being supplanted by “climate change”? The fact is that the earth’s climate has been changing constantly for at least 500 million years and has generally gotten much cooler over that time. It has certainly warmed since the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago, and was much warmer than now at the height of the Roman Empire. It cooled during what became known as the Dark Ages, warmed again during medieval times (when grapes grew in Greenland and northern England), and cooled again during the Little Ice Age (which ended about 200 years ago). During the ’70s, as you may recall, some magazines ran cover stories featuring glaciers intruding into New York City. And for the last ten years, it appears the Earth has been cooling, although that’s not widely reported. Change is a constant when it comes to the climate, and warmer is generally better.

 

Is the science “settled” on the subject? The very concept strikes me as ridiculous, in that science is rarely “settled” on anything short of it being proclaimed a law of nature. And, contrary to popular opinion, it seems most scientists with credentials in the field are either agnostic on the question or debunk the proposition of anthropogenic global warming. But the intellectual climate is such that most scientists are afraid to question out loud the reality of warming. Since almost all funding today comes from politically correct sources, namely the government and foundations, the money goes to those who are known to be looking for the “right” answers. Science has been corrupted.

 

Of course man can change the environment. But our power to do so is trivial next to the sun, volcanism, cosmic rays, and the churning ocean. None of those forces gets any mention in the popular press, which fixates on carbon, which has replaced plutonium as public enemy #1. Carbon may be the basis of life on earth, but it’s supposed to be our new enemy nonetheless. The masses, who don’t even know carbon is a “natural” element and think the periodic table is a piece of antique furniture now feel guilty about breathing, because exhaled breath is a source of CO2.

 

Interestingly, a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels doesn’t precede but follows, by several hundred years, phases of global warming. Everything you hear about saving the planet through carbon credits is as ridiculous and counterproductive as recent disastrous programs to turn corn into ethanol. In any event, carbon dioxide’s effects as a greenhouse gas are completely overwhelmed by those of water vapor. God forbid anyone warns the public of the numerous dangers posed by compounds like dihydrogen monoxide (also known as hydroxic acid).

 

As a lifelong science buff, I find the whole subject quite interesting and am tempted to do an article on it. The reason I mention it here, however, is that the global warming hysteria, as opposed to possible cyclical global warming itself, has serious economic consequences. The chances are excellent that governments will direct scores of billions of dollars into further research, devising computer projections of catastrophe to come, and fighting the presumed warming.

 

Much more serious are laws they’ll pass in the war against carbon (and methane, which amounts to a war against cattle and sheep), which could retard the economy by hundreds of billions of dollars. Most serious, in the long run, is likely to be a discrediting of science itself in the eyes of the common man once anthropogenic warming is exposed as a giant false alarm.

 

The Political Future

 

We can be quite confident the economic future is going to be grim. The military future, ugly and busy. The social future, turbulent. So is it reasonable to expect politics as usual? That would be rather anomalous. Especially since the trend towards much more State power, centered strongly on the executive, has been in motion, and accelerating, for at least four generations in the U.S., even during the best of times. No surprises there. That is pretty much what observers of history from at least Plato on would expect.

 

In that America is recently deceased and only the United States survives, I see no reason that the trend won’t continue accelerating, to be supercharged by the next Black Swan that might land. After the next real, fabricated, or imagined 9/11-style incident occurs or major war begins, it will be surprising if a state of emergency isn’t declared. Perhaps martial law in the U.S. will, perversely, provide the impetus needed to “bring the troops home,” in that they’ll be needed more in the U.S. than in Fuhgedabouditstan or wherever.

 

I leave the practical implications of that entirely to your imagination. But to maintain what little will be left of domestic tranquility at that point, the authorities will almost certainly feel compelled to round up dissidents, potential troublemakers, tents, libertarians, and the usual suspects generally. It seems inevitable to me, and I’d prefer to be somewhere else when it happens. I’m loathe to make outlandish political predictions, if only because the inevitable isn’t necessarily the imminent. But if the U.S. survives the current crisis in its present form, I’ll be surprised.

 

As always, there’s a bright side. Obama will be a one-term president. And, as middle- and upper-middle-class Americans come to see the government less as a cornucopia — that’s inevitable, because the cupboard is empty — they’ll start to see it ever more as a predator. The government will become increasingly delegitimized in the eyes of what’s left of the middle class. But what will they do? If they still have a home in the suburbs or a condo in the city, they’re not going to burn it down like the poor. I’m not even sure they’ll riot. But they will see the discontent. New affinity groups will coalesce. And they’ll wait until something really catalyzes them. Is another revolution possible? Why not? The U.S. is just another country at this point.

 

I’m convinced that the nationstate, which is to say countries with governments based on geography, is on its way out fairly soon. And good riddance. Perhaps the U.S. will be among the first. What form of social organization will replace it? [Note: That will be the subject of an article soon to come in The Casey Report.]

 

In the near future, though, there will be a struggle between the best features of what little is left of America and the worst elements of humanity, whom we have in some abundance.

 

Emigrants and Sociopaths

 

Americans no longer appear to be a special breed. Of course absolutely every nation likes to think it’s a special, better breed – the Chinese, the Japanese, the British, the French, the Germans, absolutely everybody. It’s a stupid but universal conceit, like the one putting God (presumably Yahweh) on their side during a war.

 

I used to fancy Americans actually could be a cut above simply because they’re all the progeny of emigrants, and there are at least three reasons emigrants tend to be the “best” kind of people — at least from the point of view of someone who values freedom. First, emigrants tend to be more enterprising than their neighbors at home, willing to leave everything they have to pursue opportunity. Second, they tend to be harder working, since they know they’ll get nothing they don’t earn from strangers in a new land. Third, they tend to be anti-political, since political elites and conditions are usually what caused them to emigrate in the first place. Whether these things are because of a genetic predisposition or whether it’s simply a cultural artifact within some families and groups, or both, I think it’s a fact.

 

From the founding of the country, America has always had a strong emigrant ethos, and that’s one of the things that has made it different and better. But all things degrade and revert to the mean with the passage of time. The country is now a fugitive from entropy.

 

Another reason for taking a pessimistic view is that — notwithstanding the point I made above — there’s no reason not to believe there’s a fairly uniform distribution of sociopaths across time and space, including in America today. All countries, in all eras, have them — but in good times, they stay under their rocks. Who would have guessed that the Germans of the last century, who had much more than their share of writers, composers, philosophers, scientists, plain middle-class shopkeepers, and a well-educated, orderly population would have bred the Nazis? The Turks in the ’20s, the Russians in the ’20s and ’30s, the Chinese in the ’50s and ’60s, the Serbs in the ’90s, the Rwandans It would be easy to recount dozens of recent examples of perfectly ordinary countries that have gone bonkers. The fact is that your neighbor or your mailman, who pets his dog, hugs his kids, and plays softball on the weekends, might exhibit a much less appealing, indeed an appalling, side when social conditions change.

 

You’ve, of course, heard of the Milgram experiment, wherein researchers asked members of the public to torture subjects with electric shocks, all the way up to what they believed were lethal levels. Most of them did it, after being assured that it was “alright” and “necessary” by men in authority.

 

The problem arises when a society becomes highly politicized. In normal times, a sociopath stays under the radar. Perhaps he’ll commit a common crime when he thinks he can get away with it, but social mores keep him reined in. However, once the government changes its emphasis from protecting citizens from force to initiating it with laws and taxes, those social mores break down. Peer pressure and moral opprobrium, the forces that keep a healthy society orderly and together, are replaced by regulation enforced by cops funded by taxes. And sociopaths start coming out of the woodwork and are drawn to the State, where they can get licensed and paid to do what they’ve always wanted to do. It’s very simple, really. There are two ways people can relate to each other: voluntarily or coercively. The government is pure coercion, and sociopaths are drawn to its power and force.

 

After a certain point, a critical mass is reached. The sociopaths who are naturally drawn to government start to dominate it. They reset the social mores of the country they control. And it’s game over. I suspect we’re approaching that point.

 

A Happy Note

 

There’s no telling how bad things will actually get. The worst thing that could happen is a major war. But, barring that, what’s happened in Zimbabwe, surprisingly, actually offers cause for some optimism. I was last there a couple of years ago, when, although it was a disaster, it hadn’t descended into the absolute catastrophe that’s going on now. Still, with draconian taxes, regulations, and hyperinflation, life goes on.

 

Plumbers, electricians, and mechanics still repair things. Farmers still grow things — albeit on a much smaller scale. Stores still stock merchandise, even if there’s not much of it. And I just heard yesterday from an ex-Zimbabwean that some of his friends there still play polo. And Zim is about as bad as it gets. But maybe it’s also reason for pessimism. Why, out of the whole damned country, wasn’t there at least one man with the courage to shoot Mugabe?

 

Look at Eastern Europe. After a horrible depression that lasted from about 1930 to 1990, the whole region blossomed in the space of a decade. It went from the grimmest dystopia, a veritable hologram of Mordor itself, to being almost indistinguishable from Western Europe. It shows how quickly things can improve, as long as there isn’t a backdrop of purposeful stupidity. Try as governments may to destroy it, there’s an immense amount of capital that the world has built up over the past few centuries. Individuals and small groups will continue building their capital everywhere, notwithstanding any kind of State action. The pace of technology should continue, if not accelerate.

 

As someone who always looks at the bright side, the final bit of good news I can offer you in this extraordinarily troubled milieu is that things are likely to be very interesting, even quite exciting, over the years to come. Notwithstanding the well-known Chinese curse, I’m not completely averse to interesting times. And remember, you don’t have to be adversely affected by them; they set up opportunities for greater profits than even the wildest bull market.

IS THE U.S. TURNING INTO A POLICE STATE?

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Posted on 3rd April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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DO WE LIVE IN A POLICE STATE?

11 comments

Posted on 26th January 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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AMERICA’S LATEST CRIME WAVE

17 comments

Posted on 20th January 2014 by Zarathustra in Politics |Social Issues

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It’s called Contempt of Copfuk.

ANALYSIS

Contempt of cop, America’s defiance revolution

Like NSA leaker Edward Snowden, ordinary Americans pushing back against authority

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Jan 16, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 16, 2014 7:48 AM ET

A 21-year-old motorist, knowing his legal rights, refuses to get out of his car or follow a policeman's orders unless he is told he is being formally detained.A 21-year-old motorist, knowing his legal rights, refuses to get out of his car or follow a policeman’s orders unless he is told he is being formally detained. (YouTube)
About The Author

Photo of Neil Macdonald

Neil Macdonald
Senior Washington Correspondent

Neil Macdonald is the senior Washington correspondent for CBC News, which he joined in 1988 following 12 years in newspapers. Before taking up this post in 2003, Macdonald reported from the Middle East for five years. He speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.

Increasingly, and openly, ordinary Americans are committing a legal act that some police nonetheless regard as among the most heinous of all offences: it’s called contempt of cop.

It’s otherwise known as asserting your constitutional rights.

Citizens, feeling empowered, are pointing smartphones, rather than just an accusing finger, at abusive authorities.

Civil libertarians with hidden cameras are challenging the so-called “suspicion-less” roadblocks that police set up to catch lawbreakers. Motorists and others are fighting back in the courts and online against police shakedown rackets on U.S. highways and elsewhere.

Everywhere, it seems, Americans are openly challenging arbitrary behaviour by those in authority.

Furthermore, they are winning. Not since the late 1960s have those in authority, from heavy-handed cops to the federal operatives sifting metadata in super-secret intelligence installations, been exposed to so much disinfecting sunlight.

It’s marvelous to see such courage, and further proof that whatever the world might say about America, no other democracy takes the rule of law more seriously.

And while it is difficult to tell what’s driving this new assertiveness, you have to feel it’s part of a recovery from the almost supine attitude that most people here adopted in the years after 9/11.

During those years, in response to demands for security from a terrified public, the American “deep state” grew almost exponentially, at a cost so staggering no one seems able to produce a reliable estimate, the Washington Post reported following a two-year investigation.

Checkpoint refusals

Today, though, Americans seem to be rediscovering their sense of independence, and technology is the heavy weapon in their push-back

Just as their government has used it to obliterate the notion of privacy, resourceful citizens have turned the electronic eye back on agents of the state.

hi-edward-snowden2-852-4769President Barack Obama is expected to outline new rules this week for the National Security Agency, rules that are a direct result of the leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden of massive spying by the NSA.

The biggest and most successful crusader of all, of course, is Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose unprecedented revelations forced a White House-ordered review of intelligence gathering.

On Friday, President Barack Obama is expected to announce changes at the NSA, the largest, most powerful and most intrusive secret agency in history.

These changes clearly would not be happening were it not for Snowden, who said he acted to protect the U.S. Constitution.

He’s a fugitive now, in Moscow, but back here in America, other Americans are acting, too, and citing the same motive.

These activists range from hard-conservative gun rights types, who carry copies of the Constitution in their pockets, to left-leaning civil liberties advocates.

(Article continues below video.)

(On mobile? Click here to watch the video.)

In both cases, they triumphantly upload video trophies of their confrontations to the internet.

You could spend an entire day just watching all this recorded disobedience on YouTube, and only view a fraction of it.

Quite a few show “checkpoint refusals” at roadblocks erected by police looking for drunken drivers, or by federal agents hunting illegal aliens.

Courts here have held that police have the right to operate such stops.

But the courts have also ruled that citizens are free to remain silent, and can refuse to allow searches and ignore orders to submit to “secondary inspections” unless police detain them — which requires the higher hurdle of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe an offence has been committed.

Police not happy

In these videos, it’s clear that what is really at issue for police is the challenge to their authority.

Contempt of cop, as the practice is known in libertarian circles, provokes the same rage at checkpoints that Snowden’s media interviews arouse in national security officials.

And the reason for it is clearly the same: defiance, to authorities, sets an intolerable precedent.

In several of these videos, some of which have made television newscasts, police can barely contain their anger, voices rising as they yell orders at stubborn motorists who exercise their right to remain silent.

“It’s a right to privacy, it’s a right to simply refuse to co-operate and answer questions,” explained David Loy of the San Diego branch of the American Civil Liberties Union to a television interviewer there.

“We think that checkpoints, suspicion-less checkpoints, are the hallmark of a police state, not a free society.”

Caswells-forfeiture-lawMassachusetts motel owners Russell and Patricia Caswell won a huge legal victory last year when a judge dismissed a contentious civil forfeiture action by federal authorities that would have stripped them of their motel because drug dealers may have stayed there at one point. They themselves had never been convicted or even charged with a crime. (Russell Caswell / YouTube)

Much worse are the “forfeiture” rackets that have been used by some police here to separate people from their money and property, even if no offence is charged.

It’s called civil forfeiture, a federal law from the mid-1980s, and in some states police salaries have been directly tied to how much loot they can grab, according to investigations by such diverse groups as the New Yorker magazine and the libertarian Institute for Justice (founded by a former Ronald Reagan administration official).

Citizen complaints and media exposure, however, are spoiling the fun, and federal authorities have begun crackdowns.

Canadian visitors take note

Public rebelliousness has surged here in the past, of course.

Police overreach and abuse has been an issue in American life going back to the Vietnam War demonstrations and beyond.

In New York City, for example, the municipal government is still paying out tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of people who were unjustly arrested for demonstrating during the Republican National Convention in 2004.

In that case, too, private citizens recorded the action. In fact, evidence is emerging that undercover agents actually provoked some of the violence that served as a pretext for arrests.

The ACLU says police are increasingly aware, and angry, about people attempting to capture abuse on video. (In Nebraska, only a third party’s pictures from a neighbour across the street helped convict police who seized and destroyed video taken of their warrantless actions at a private residence.)

 

However, for all its encouragement of citizens to assert their rights, the ACLU warns that it can come with a price.

While disrespect for law enforcement is no crime here (that was settled by the courts decades ago), challenges to authority are still often answered with a disorderly conduct or obstruction of justice citation.

And while the U.S. Constitution applies to everyone on U.S. soil, Canadian visitors might want to take a more defensive approach (like don’t drive your own car in certain southern states, don’t carry a lot of valuables, and if you run into a checkpoint, be nice and obedient).

Unlike U.S. citizens, visitors are here by permission, and that can be revoked for any reason, or none at all.

Also, carrying a smartphone can’t hurt.

WILL THE POLICE STATE GROW IN 2014?

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Posted on 1st January 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Will 2014 be the tipping point? Will more Edward Snowdens appear and keep the fight against the police state going? Will the police state go too far and finally meet with significant and broad resistance? Will the regeneracy of this 4th Turning be the people versus the police state? Time will tell.

Life in the Emerging American Police State: What’s in Store for Our Freedoms in 2014?

Police State

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
—George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1

In Harold Ramis’ classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, TV weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) is forced to live the same day over and over again until he not only gains some insight into his life but changes his priorities. Similarly, as I illustrate in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we in the emerging American police state find ourselves reliving the same set of circumstances over and over again—egregious surveillance, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc.—although with far fewer moments of comic hilarity.

What remains to be seen is whether 2014 will bring more of the same or whether “we the people” will wake up from our somnambulant states. Indeed, when it comes to civil liberties and freedom, 2013 was far from a banner year. The following is just a sampling of what we can look forward to repeating if we don’t find some way to push back against the menace of an overreaching, aggressive, invasive, militarized government and restore our freedoms.

Government spying. It’s hard to understand how anyone could be surprised by the news that the National Security Agency has been systematically collecting information on all telephone calls placed in the United States, and yet the news media have treated it as a complete revelation. Nevertheless, such outlandish government spying been going on domestically since the 1970s, when Senator Frank Church (D-Ida.), who served as the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence that investigated the NSA’s breaches, warned the public against allowing the government to overstep its authority in the name of national security. Church recognized that such surveillance powers “at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.” Recent reports indicate that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has actually gone so far as to intercept laptop computers ordered online in order to install spyware on them.

Militarized police. With almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participating in a military “recycling” program, community police forces across the country continue to be transformed into outposts of the military, with police agencies acquiring military-grade hardware—tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield—in droves. Keep in mind that once acquired, this military equipment, which is beyond the budget and scope of most communities, finds itself put to all manner of uses by local law enforcement agencies under the rationale that “if we have it, we might as well use it”—the same rationale, by the way, used with deadly results to justify assigning SWAT teams to carry out routine law enforcement work such as delivering a warrant.

Police shootings of unarmed citizens. Owing in large part to the militarization of local law enforcement agencies, not a week goes by without more reports of hair-raising incidents by police imbued with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a battlefield approach to the communities in which they serve. Sadly, it is no longer unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later, such as the 16-year-old teenager who skipped school only to be shot by police after they mistook him for a fleeing burglar. Then there was the unarmed black man in Texas “who was pursued and shot in the back of the neck by Austin Police… after failing to properly identify himself and leaving the scene of an unrelated incident.” And who could forget the 19-year-old Seattle woman who was accidentally shot in the leg by police after she refused to show her hands? The lesson to be learned: this is what happens when you take a young man (or woman), raise him on a diet of violence, hype him up on the power of the gun in his holster and the superiority of his uniform, render him woefully ignorant of how to handle a situation without resorting to violence, train him well in military tactics but allow him to be illiterate about the Constitution, and never stress to him that he is to be a peacemaker and a peacekeeper, respectful of and subservient to the taxpayers, who are in fact his masters and employers.

The erosion of private property. If the government can tell you what you can and cannot do within the privacy of your home, whether it relates to what you eat or what you smoke, you no longer have any rights whatsoever within your home. If government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property. If school officials can punish your children for what they do or say while at home or in your care, your children are not your own—they are the property of the state. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Likewise, if police can forcefully draw your blood, strip search you, and probe you intimately, your body is no longer your own, either. This is what a world without the Fourth Amendment looks like, where the lines between private and public property have been so blurred that private property is reduced to little more than something the government can use to control, manipulate and harass you to suit its own purposes, and you the homeowner and citizen have been reduced to little more than a tenant or serf in bondage to an inflexible landlord.

Strip searches and the loss of bodily integrity. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to protect the citizenry from being subjected to “unreasonable searches and seizures” by government agents. While the literal purpose of the amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our human dignity. Unfortunately, court rulings undermining the Fourth Amendment and justifying invasive strip searches have left us powerless against police empowered to forcefully draw our blood, strip search us, and probe us intimately. For example, during a routine traffic stop, Leila Tarantino was allegedly subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic, while her two children—ages 1 and 4—waited inside her car. During the second strip search, presumably in an effort to ferret out drugs, a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. No contraband or anything illegal was found.

Invasion of the drones. As corporations and government agencies alike prepare for their part in the coming drone invasion—it is expected that at least 30,000 drones will occupy U.S. airspace by 2020, ushering in a $30 billion per year industry—it won’t be long before Americans discover first-hand that drones—unmanned aerial vehicles—come in all shapes and sizes, from nano-sized drones as small as a grain of sand that can do everything from conducting surveillance to detonating explosive charges, to middle-sized copter drones that can deliver pizzas to massive “hunter/killer” Predator warships that unleash firepower from on high. Police in California have already begun using Qube drones, which are capable of hovering for 40 minutes at heights of about 400 ft. to conduct surveillance on targets as far as 1 kilometer away. Michael Downing, the LAPD deputy chief for counter-terrorism and special operations, envisions drones being flown over large-scale media events such as the Oscars, using them to surveil political protests, and flying them through buildings to track criminal suspects.

Criminalizing childish behavior. It wouldn’t be a week in America without another slew of children being punished for childish behavior under the regime of zero tolerance which plagues our nation’s schools. Some of the most egregious: the 9-year-old boy suspended for allegedly pointing a toy at a classmate and saying “bang, bang”; two 6-year-old students in Maryland suspended for using their fingers as imaginary guns in a schoolyard game of cops and robbers; the ten-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate, using nothing more than his hands and his imagination; the six-year-old Colorado boy suspended and accused of sexual harassment for kissing the hand of a girl in his class whom he had a crush on; and the two seventh graders in Virginia suspended for the rest of the school year for playing with airsoft guns in their own yard before school.

Common Core. There are several methods for controlling a population. You can intimidate the citizenry into obedience through force, relying on military strength and weaponry such as SWAT team raids, militarized police, and a vast array of lethal and nonlethal weapons. You can manipulate them into marching in lockstep with your dictates through the use of propaganda and carefully timed fear tactics about threats to their safety, whether through the phantom menace of terrorist attacks or shooting sprees by solitary gunmen.  Or you can indoctrinate them into compliance from an early age through the schools, discouraging them from thinking for themselves while rewarding them for regurgitating whatever the government, through its so-called educational standards, dictates they should be taught. When viewed in light of the government’s ongoing attempts to amass power at great cost to Americans—in terms of free speech rights, privacy, due process, etc.—the debate over Common Core State Standards, which would transform and nationalize school curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade, becomes that much more critical. These standards, which were developed through a partnership between big government and corporations and are being rolled out in 45 states and the District of Columbia, will create a generation of test-takers capable of little else, molded and shaped by the federal government and its corporate allies into what it considers to be ideal citizens.

The corporate takeover of America. The corporate buyout of the American political bureaucracy is taking place at every level of government, from the White House all the way to the various governors’ mansions, and even local city councils. With Big Business and Big Government having fused into a corporate state, the president and his state counterparts—the governors, have become little more than CEOs of the Corporate State, which day by day is assuming more government control over our lives. The average American has no access to his or her representatives at any but the lowest level of government, and even then it’s questionable how much really gets through. Never before have average Americans had so little say in the workings of their government and even less access to their so-called representatives. Yet one of the key ingredients in maintaining democratic government is the right of citizens to freely speak their minds to those who represent them. In fact, it is one of the few effective tools we have left to combat government corruption and demand accountability. But now, even that right is being chipped away by laws and court rulings that weaken our ability to speak freely to the politicians who govern us.

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, put it best: “Take alarm,” he warned, “at the first experiment with liberties.” Anyone with even a casual knowledge about current events knows that the first experiment on our freedoms happened long ago. Worse, we have not heeded the warnings of Madison and those like him who understood that if you give the government an inch, they will take a mile. Unfortunately, the government has not only taken a mile, they have taken mile after mile after mile after mile with seemingly no end in sight for their power grabs.

If you’re in the business of making New Year’s resolutions, why not resolve that 2014 will be the year we break the cycle of tyranny and get back on the road to freedom. As I’ve said before, it’s time for a second American revolution.

Reprinted from Rutherford Institute.

ABNORMALCY BIAS

94 comments

Posted on 23rd April 2013 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited

 they-live-billboards-messages-john-carpenter

The political class set in motion the eventual obliteration of our economic system with the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Placing the fate of the American people in the hands of a powerful cabal of unaccountable greedy wealthy elitist bankers was destined to lead to poverty for the many, riches for the connected crony capitalists, debasement of the currency, endless war, and ultimately the decline and fall of an empire. Ernest Hemingway’s quote from The Sun Also Rises captures the path of our country perfectly:

“How did you go bankrupt?”
Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

The 100 year downward spiral began gradually but has picked up steam in the last sixteen years, as the exponential growth model, built upon ever increasing levels of debt and an ever increasing supply of cheap oil, has proven to be unsustainable and unstable. Those in power are frantically using every tool at their disposal to convince Boobus Americanus they have everything under control and the system is operating normally. The psychotic central bankers, “bought and sold” political class, mega-corporation soulless chief executives and corporate controlled media use propaganda techniques, paid “experts”, talking head “personalities”, captured think tanks, and the willful ignorance of the majority to spin an increasingly dire economic descent as if we are recovering and getting back to normal. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is nothing normal about what Ben Bernanke and the Federal government have done over the last five years and continue to do today. Truthfully, nothing has been normal since the mid-1990s when Alan Greenspan spoke the last truthful words of his lifetime:

“Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. We can see that in the inverse relationship exhibited by price/earnings ratios and the rate of inflation in the past. But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?”

The Greenspan led Federal Reserve created two epic bubbles in the space of six years which burst and have done irreparable harm to the net worth of the middle class. Rather than learn the lesson of how much damage to the lives of average Americans has been caused by creating cheap easy money out of thin air, our Ivy League self-proclaimed expert on the Great Depression, Ben Bernanke, has ramped up the cheap easy money machine to hyper-speed. There is nothing normal about the path this man has chosen. His strategy has revealed the true nature of the Federal Reserve and their purpose – to protect and enrich the financial elites that manipulate this country for their own purposes.

Despite the mistruths spoken by Bernanke and his cadre of banker coconspirators, he can never reverse what he has done. The country will not return to normalcy in our lifetimes. Bernanke is conducting a mad experiment and we are the rats in his maze. His only hope is to retire before it blows up in his face. Just as Greenspan inflated the housing bubble and exited stage left, Bernanke is inflating a debt bubble, stock bubble, bond bubble and attempting to re-inflate the housing bubble just in time for another Ivy League Keynesian academic, Janet Yellen, to step into the banker’s box. This genius thinks Bernanke has been too tight with monetary policy. It seems inflated egos are common among Ivy League economist central bankers who think they can pull levers and push buttons to control the economy. Results may vary.

The gradual slide towards our national bankruptcy of wealth, spirit, freedom, self-respect, morality, personal responsibility, and common sense began in 1913 with the secretive creation of the Federal Reserve and the imposition of a personal income tax. Pandora’s Box was opened in this fateful year and the horrors of currency debasement and ever increasing taxation were thrust upon the American people by a small but powerful cadre of unscrupulous financial elite and the corrupt politicians that do their bidding in Washington D.C. The powerful men who thrust these evils upon our country set in motion a chain of events and actions that will undoubtedly result in the fall of the great American Empire, just as previous empires have fallen due to the corruption of its leaders and depravity of its people. Creating a private central bank, controlled by the Wall Street cabal, and allowing the government to syphon the earnings of workers through increased taxation has allowed politicians the ability to spend, borrow, and print money at an ever increasing rate in order to get themselves re-elected and benefit the cronies, hucksters and bankers that pay the biggest bribes. None of this benefit the average American, who sees their purchasing power systematically inflated and taxed away. This is not capitalism and it is not a coincidence that war and inflation have been the hallmarks of the last century.

“A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.” Ron Paul

 

As you can see, the bankruptcy of our country and our culture began gradually, accelerated after Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, really picked up steam in 1980 when the debt happy Baby Boom generation came of age, and has “suddenly” reached maximum velocity as we approach the true fiscal cliff. There were many checkpoints along the way where fatefully bad choices were made. They include the New Deal, Cold War, Great Society, Morning in America, Dotcom New Paradigm, Housing Wealth Retirement Plan, Obamacare, and present belief that creating more debt will solve a problem created by too much debt. The Federal Reserve allowed interventionist politicians to fight two declared wars (World War I, World War II), fight five undeclared wars (Korea, Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq), conduct hundreds of military engagements around the globe, occupy foreign countries, begin a war on poverty that increased poverty, begin a war on drugs that increased the amount of available drugs, and finally start a war on terror that has increased the number of terrorists and pushed us closer to national bankruptcy. The terrorists have already won, as the explosion of stupidity and irrational fear has allowed those in power to acquire more power and dominion over our lives.

Abnormality Reigns

“We live surrounded by a systematic appeal to a dream world which all mature, scientific reality would reject. We, quite literally, advertise our commitment to immaturity, mendacity and profound gullibility. It is as the hallmark of the culture. And it is justified as being economically indispensable.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

When I critically scrutinize the economic, political, financial, and social landscape at this point in history, I come to the inescapable conclusion that our country and world are headed into the abyss. This is most certainly a minority viewpoint. The majority of people in this country are oblivious to the disaster that will arrive over the next decade. Some would attribute this willful ignorance to the normalcy bias that infects the psyches of millions of ostrich like iGadget distracted, Facebook addicted, government educated, financially illiterate, mass media manipulated zombies. Normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to inform the populace about the impending disaster. The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster hasn’t occurred yet, then it will never occur. It also results in the inability of people to cope with the disaster once it occurs. People tend to interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any ambiguities to infer a less serious situation.

The unsustainability of our economic system built upon assumptions of exponential growth, ever expanding debt, increasing consumer spending, unlimited supplies of cheap easy to access oil, impossible to honor entitlement promises, and a dash of mass delusion should be apparent to even the dullest of government public school educated drones inhabiting this country. I don’t attribute this willful ignorance to normalcy bias. I attribute it to abnormalcy bias. In a profoundly abnormal society, adjusting your thinking to fit in appears normal, but is just a symptom of the disease that has infected our culture. There is nothing normal about anything in our society today. If you were magically transported back to 1996 and described to someone the economic, political, financial and social landscape in 2013, they would have you committed to a mental institution and given shock therapy.

Even though we’ve been in a 100 year spiral downwards, things still appeared relatively normal in 1996 when Greenspan uttered his “Irrational Exuberance” faux pas that so upset his Wall Street puppet masters. The ruling class had not yet repealed Glass-Steagall (pre-requisite for pillaging the muppets), created the internet bubble, fashioned the greatest control fraud in world history (housing bubble unrecognized by Ben Bernanke), or taken advantage of mass hysteria over 9/11 to begin the never ending war on terror and expansion of the Orwellian state. The citizens, and I use that term loosely, of this country have allowed those in control of the government and media to convince them the situation confronting us is just a normal cyclical variation that will be alleviated by tweaking existing economic policies and trusting that Ben Bernanke will pull the right monetary levers to get us back on course. The stress inflicted on their brains in the last thirteen years of bubbles and wars has made the average person incapable of distinguishing between normality and abnormality. What they need is slap upside of their head. Is there anything normal about these facts?

  • The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in 1996 consisted of $422 billion, of which 91% were Treasury securities. Today it consists of $3.25 trillion, of which only 56% are Treasury securities, and the rest is toxic home mortgages, toxic commercial mortgages, and whatever other crap the Wall Street banks have dumped on their books. Their balance sheet is leveraged 57 to 1 and Bernanke has promised his Wall Street bosses he will add another $750 billion before the year is out. Is there anything normal about a central bank adding twice as much debt to its balance sheet in less than twelve months than existed on its entire balance sheet in 1996?
  • The National Debt at the end of fiscal 1996 was $5.25 trillion. It increased by $250 billion that year. The GDP of the country was $7.8 trillion. Our national debt as a percentage of GDP was only 67% and our annual deficit was only 3% of GDP. At the time, the country was worried about these outrageous levels of debt. Today the National Debt stands at a towering $16.8 trillion. It has increased by a staggering $1.12 trillion in the last twelve months. The GDP of the country today is $15.7 trillion. Our national debt as a percentage GDP has soared to 107%. Our annual deficits now exceed 7% of GDP on a consistent basis. Our budgets are on automatic pilot, with the $20 trillion level to be breached by 2016. Is it a normal state of affairs when the GDP of your country rises by 100% over seventeen years, while your debt rises by 320%?

 

  •  Total government spending (Federal, State, Local) in 1996 totaled $2.7 trillion, or 35% of GDP. Today total government spending is $6.3 trillion, or 40% of GDP. In 1979, before the belief in government became a religion, total government spending was only 31.5% of GDP (27% in 1965). Are you receiving twice the service from government than you received in 1996? Are you safer from terrorists due to the massive expansion of the police state? Are your kids getting a much better education than they did in 1996? Have the undeclared wars benefitted you in any way, other than tripling the price of gas? Are the higher wage taxes, real estate taxes, school taxes, sewer fees, utility fees, phone fees, gasoline taxes, permit fees, and myriad of other government charges worth it? Is it normal for government to account for almost half of our economy?

 

  • In 1996 personal consumption expenditures accounted for 67% of GDP, while private domestic investment accounted for 16% of GDP and we ran small trade deficits of 1% of GDP. Today, consumer spending accounts for 71% of GDP (despite the storyline about consumer retrenchment), while domestic investment has contracted to 13% of GDP and our trade deficits have surged to almost 4% of GDP. The Federal government has expanded their piece of the GDP pie by 130% since 1996, with the Department of War accounting for the bulk of the increase. Saving and capital investment is now penalized in this country. Is it normal for a country to borrow, consume and bleed itself to death?
  • Consumer credit outstanding totaled $1.2 trillion in 1996, or $4,500 per every man, woman and child in the country. Today, the austere balance is now $2.8 trillion, or $8,800 per every man, woman and child inhabiting our debt saturated paradise. The more than doubling of consumer debt would be acceptable if wages were rising at a similar rate. But that hasn’t been the case, as wages have only advanced from $3.6 trillion in 1996 to $7.0 trillion today. With even the massively understated CPI showing 50% inflation since 1996 and 23% more Americans in the working age population (45 million), real wages have advanced by 30%. Using a true measure of inflation, real wages have fallen. Total credit market debt in 1996 was $19 trillion, or 243% of GDP. Today total credit market debt sits at an all-time high of $56.2 trillion, or 358% of GDP. Is it normal for credit market debt to increase at three times the rate of GDP?

  total debt market owed

  • In 1996, personal income totaled $6.6 trillion, with wages accounting for 55% of the total, interest income on savings accounting for 12% and government entitlement transfers accounting for 14%. Today personal income totals $13.6 trillion, with wages accounting for 51% of the total, interest income on savings plunging to 7% due to Bernanke’s “Screw a Senior Zero Interest Policy”, and Big Brother entitlement transfers skyrocketing to 18%. In what Orwellian dystopian society is taking money from wage earners and redistributing it to non-wage earners considered personal income? Is it normal for a government to punish savers and makers in order to benefit the borrowers and takers?
  • Prior to the financial collapse and during the mid-1990s prudent risk-averse savers could get a 4% to 5% return on money market accounts. Since the Wall Street created worldwide financial collapse, Ben Bernanke, at the behest of these very same Wall Street banks, has reduced short term interest rates to 0%. The result has been to transfer $400 billion per year from the pockets of savers and senior citizens into the grubby hands of bankers that have destroyed our economy. The prudent are left earning .02% on their savings, while the profligate bankers can borrow for 0% and earn billions by re-depositing those funds at the Federal Reserve. In what bizarro world this be a normal state of affairs?

 

  • Total mortgage debt outstanding in 1996, before the epic Wall Street produced housing bubble, was $4.7 billion. Today, even after the transfer of almost $1 trillion of bad debt to the balance sheet of the American taxpayer, the amount of mortgage debt is an astounding $13.1 trillion. Despite home values rising since 1996, there are 20% of all households still in a negative equity position. Total household real estate equity was 60% in 1996, plunged below 40% in 2009, and has only slightly rebounded to 47% today because Wall Street dumped the bad mortgages on the backs of the American taxpayer. Is it normal for mortgage debt to triple and home equity to plunge in a rationally functioning world? Is it normal when 25% of all existing home sales are distressed sales and another 30% are sales to Wall Street hedge funds like Blackrock?

 

  • In 1996 there were 200 million working age Americans, with 134 million (67%) in the labor force, 127 million (63.5%) employed, and 66 million (33%) not in the labor force. Today there are 245 million working age Americans, with 155 million (63%) in the labor force, 143 million (58%) employed, and 90 million (37%) supposedly not in the labor force. The number of working age Americans has increased by 22.5%, while the number of those employed has advanced by only 12.5%. The population to employment ratio has reached a three decade low as millions have given up, been lured into college by cheap plentiful government debt, or developed a mysterious ailment that has gotten them into the SSDI program. Is it normal for millions of Americans to leave the labor force when the economy is supposedly recovering?

 

  • In 1996 there were 25.5 million Americans on food stamps, or 9.6% of the population, costing $24 billion per year. Today there are 47.8 million Americans on food stamps, or 15% of the population, costing $75 billion per year. Historically, the number of people in this program would rise during recessions and recede when the economy recovered, just as a safety net program should function. According to our government keepers the economy has been in recovery since late 2009. The number of people entering the food stamp program has gone up by 7 million since the recession officially ended. This is not normal. Either the government is lying about the recession or they are screwing the taxpayer by encouraging constituents to enter the program in an effort to gain votes. Which is it?

 

  • The price of oil averaged $20 per barrel in 1996 and it cost you $1.20 per gallon to fill your tank. Oil averaged $85 per barrel in 2012 and currently hovers around $90 per barrel. Most Americans are now paying between $3.50 and $4.00 per gallon to fill their tanks. This result seems abnormal considering the propaganda machine is proclaiming we are on the verge of energy independence. After two Middle East wars, 6,700 dead American soldiers, 50,000 wounded American soldiers, and $1.5 trillion of national wealth wasted, this is all we get – a tripling in gas prices and creation of thousands of new terrorists?

You have to have a really bad case of normalcy bias to be able to convince yourself that everything that has happened since 1996 is normal. Every fact supports the reality that we’ve entered a period of extreme abnormality and our response as a nation thus far has insured that a disaster of even far greater magnitude is just over the horizon. Anyone with an ounce of common sense realizes the social mood is deteriorating rapidly. We are in the midst of a Crisis period that will result in earth shattering change, but the masses want things to go back to normal and don’t want to face the facts. The cognitive dissonance created by reality versus their wishes will resolve itself when the next financial collapse makes 2008 look like a walk in the park. But, until then most will just stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

Loving Your Servitude

“Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.”Ron Paul

The most disgraceful example of abnormality that has infected our culture has been the cowardice and docile acquiescence of the citizenry in allowing an ever expanding police state to shred the U.S. Constitution, strip us of our freedoms, and restrict our liberties. Our keepers have not let any crisis go to waste in the last seventeen years. They have also taken advantage of the willful ignorance, childish immaturity, extreme gullibility, historical cluelessness, financial illiteracy and techno-narcissism of the populace to reverse practical legislation and prey upon irrational fears to strip the people of their constitutionally guaranteed liberties and freedoms. If you had told someone in 1996 the security measures, laws, and police agencies that would exist in 2013, they would have laughed you out of the room. Every crisis, whether government created or just convenient to their agenda, has been utilized by the oligarchs to expand the police state and benefit the crony capitalists that profit from its expansion. The character of the American people has been found wanting as they obediently cower and beg for protection from unseen evil doers. The propagandist corporate media reinforces their fears and instructs them to submissively tremble and implore the government to do more. The cosmic obliviousness and limitless sense of complacency of the general population with regards to a blatantly obvious coup by a small cadre of sociopathic financial elite and their army of bureaucrats, lackeys and jackboots is a wonder to behold.

The 1929 stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression was primarily the result of excessively loose Federal Reserve monetary policy during the Roaring 20’s and the unrestrained fraud perpetrated by the Wall Street banks. The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act was a practical 38 page law which kept Wall Street from ravenously raping its customers and the American people for almost seven decades. The Wall Street elite and their bought off political hacks in both parties repealed this law in 1999, while simultaneously squashing any effort to regulate the financial derivatives market. The day trading American public didn’t even look up from their computer screens. Over the next nine years Wall Street went on a fraudulent feeding frenzy rampage which brought the country to its knees and then held the American taxpayer at gunpoint to bail them out. The Federal Reserve arranged rescue of LTCM in 1998 gave the all clear to Wall Street that any risk was acceptable, since the Fed would always bail them out. Just as they did in the 1920’s, the Federal Reserve set the table for financial disaster with excessively low interest rates and non-existent regulatory oversight.

The downward spiral of our empire towards an Orwellian/Huxley merged dystopian nightmare accelerated after the 9/11 attacks. Within one month those looking to exert hegemony over all domestic malcontents had passed the 366 page, 58,000 words Patriot Act. Did the terrified masses ask how such a comprehensive destruction of our liberties could be written in under one month? It is apparent to anyone with critical thinking skills that the enemy within had this bill written, waiting for the ideal opportunity to implement this unprecedented expansion of federal police power. Electronic surveillance of our emails, phone calls and voice mails, along with warrantless wiretaps, and general loss of civil liberties was passed without question under the guise of protecting us. Next was the invasion of a foreign country based upon lies, propaganda and misinformation without a declaration of war, as required by the Constitution. Our government began torturing suspects in secret foreign prisons. The shallow, self-centered, narcissistic, Facebook fanatic populace has barely looked up from texting on their iPhones to notice that we have been at war in the Middle East for eleven years, because it hasn’t interfered with their weekly viewing of Honey Boo Boo, Dancing With the Stars, or Jersey Shore. They occasionally leave their homes to wave a flag and chant “USA, USA, USA”, as directed by the media, when a terrorist like Bin Laden or Boston bomber is offed by our security services, but for the most part they can live their superficial vacuous lives of triviality unscathed by war.

The creation of the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security ushered in a further encroachment of our everyday freedoms. They attempted to keep the masses frightened through a ridiculous color coded fear index. Little old ladies, people in wheelchairs and little children are subject to molestation by lowlife TSA perverts. Military units conduct “training exercises” in cities across the country to desensitize the sheep-like masses, who fail to acknowledge that the U.S. military cannot constitutionally be used domestically. DHS considers military veterans, Ron Paul supporters, and Christians as potential enemies of the state. The use of predator drones to murder suspected adversaries in foreign countries, while killing innocent men, women and children (also known as collateral damage), has just been a prelude to the domestic surveillance and eventually extermination of dissidents and nonconformists here in the U.S. We are already becoming a 1984 CCTV controlled nation. DHS has been rapidly militarizing local police forces in cities and towns to supplement their jackbooted thugs. Obama’s executive orders have given him the ability to take control of industry. He can imprison citizens without charges for as long as he deems necessary. Attempts to control gun ownership and shutdown the internet is a prologue to further government domination and supremacy over our lives when the wheels come off this unsustainable bus.

The last week has provided a multitude of revelations about our government and the people of this country. The billions “invested” in our police state, along with warnings from a foreign government, and suspicious travel patterns were not enough for our beloved protectors to stop the Boston Marathon bombing. After stumbling upon these amateur terrorists by accident, the 2nd responders, with their Iraq war level firepower, managed to slaughter one of the perpetrators, but somehow allowed a wounded teenager to escape on foot and elude 10,000 donut eaters for almost 24 hours. The horde of heavily armed, testosterone fueled thugs proceeded to bully and intimidate the citizens of Watertown by illegal searches of homes and treating innocent people like criminals. The government completely shut down the 10th largest metropolitan area in the country for an entire day looking for a wounded 19 year old. The people of Boston obeyed their zoo keepers and obediently cowered in their cages.

The entire episode was an epic fail. The gang that couldn’t shoot straight needed an old man to find the bomber in his backyard boat. The people of Boston exhibited the passivity and subservience demanded by their government. Since the capture of the remaining terrorist, the shallow exhibitions of national pride at athletic events and smarmy displays of honoring the police state apparatchiks who screwed up – allowing the attack to occur and looking like the keystone cops during the pursuit of the suspects, has revealed a fatal defect in our civil character. We are living in a profoundly abnormal society, with millions of medicated mindless zombies controlled by a vast propaganda machine, who seemingly enjoy having their liberties taken away. Most have willingly learned to love their servitude. For those who haven’t learned, the boot of our vast security state will just stomp on their face forever. We’re realizing the worst dystopian nightmares of Orwell and Huxley simultaneously. This abnormalcy bias will dissipate over the next ten to fifteen years in torrent of financial collapse, war, bloodshed, and retribution. Sticking your head in the sand will not make reality go away. The existing social, political, and financial order will be swept away. What it is replaced by is up to us. Will this be the final chapter or new chapter in the history of this nation? The choice is ours.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
- George Orwell

 antidepressant-facts-400x400

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution” -Aldous Huxley, 1961

 

 

 

POLICE STATE

41 comments

Posted on 25th September 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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The NYC police mace peaceful protestors. Imagine what they will do when the protests are no longer peaceful. The anger and rage is building.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Welcome to the Police State: NYC Cops Mace Peaceful Protestors Against Wall Street

I’m beginning to wonder whether the right to assemble is effectively dead in the US. No one who is a wage slave (which is the overwhelming majority of the population) can afford to have an arrest record, even a misdemeanor, in this age of short job tenures and rising use of background checks.

Now at least in New York (and I hope readers in other cities will chime in) the right to assemble seems to be pretty much a dead letter. I was in Sydney during the global protests against the Iraq War, and I was told that the New York demonstrations (which were already hindered by typically lousy winter weather) were pretty much blocked by the police. Protestors were tying to gather at the UN, and the cops put up a cordon at Second Avenue. The result was the turnout was far lower than the number who tried to show their opposition and were stopped.

The latest New York City protest is OccupyWallStreet. Even though its turnout last week fell well short of hopes (the estimates from the group were that 2000 participated; the New York Times suggests numbers more like “hundreds” but the photos from the 17th make figures larger figures seem plausible), making it a nuisance level demonstration rather than a major statement, the powers that be seem to be trying a bit too hard to prevent it from getting traction.

The organizers were using Twitter to promote participation and visibility. And so Twitter intervened. From AmpedStatus:

On at least two occasions, Saturday September 17th and again on Thursday night, Twitter blocked #OccupyWallStreet from being featured as a top trending topic on their homepage. On both occasions, #OccupyWallStreet tweets were coming in more frequently than other top trending topics that they were featuring on their homepage.

This is blatant political censorship on the part of a company that has recently received a $400 million investment from JP Morgan Chase.

The protestors were relegated to Zucotti Park, west of Liberty. If you know Lower Manhattan that is technically near Wall Street but well away from any offices buildings. It is on the periphery. The New York Times depicts the demonstrators as naive and ineffective, i.e, harmless:

Occupy Wall Street, a diffuse and leaderless convocation of activists against greed, corporate influence, gross social inequality and other nasty byproducts of wayward capitalism not easily extinguishable by street theater, had hoped to see many thousands join its protest and encampment, which began Sept. 17….

By Wednesday morning, 100 or so stalwarts were making the daily, peaceful trek through the financial district, where their movements were circumscribed by barricades and a heavy police presence. (Various arrests for disorderly conduct were made.) By Thursday, the number still sleeping in Zuccotti Park, the central base of operations, appeared to be dwindling further.

Members retained hope for an infusion of energy over the weekend, but as it approached, the issue was not that the Bastille hadn’t been stormed, but that its facade had suffered hardly a chip.

So the protest is only in the low hundreds. In a separate story, the Times reports that the police arrested 80 as they moved to Union Square (notice how high a percentage that is) and even the anodyne Times makes the policing sound heavy-handed:

The police made scores of arrests on Saturday as hundreds of people, many of whom had been encamped in the financial district as part of a lengthy protest, marched north to Union Square….

Protest organizers estimated that about 85 people were arrested and that about five were struck with pepper spray. Among those was Chelsea Elliott, 25, who said that she was sprayed after shouting “Why are you doing that?” as an officer arrested a protester at East 12th Street….

Nearby, two other protesters standing handcuffed on Fifth Avenue told a reporter that they had both been arrested on sidewalks and were not aware of having broken any law.

“They put up orange nets and tried to kettle us and we started running and they started tackling random people and handcuffing them,” said Kelly Brannon, 27, of Ridgewood, Queens. “They were herding us like cattle.”

Next to her, David Smith, from Maine, said that he had been chanting “Let them go” as people were handcuffed, and was then arrested by a senior officer who told him that he was being charged with obstructing governmental administration.

The article included this tweet:

@DustinSlaughter there’s 50+ of us arrested in a caravan, netted & maced by police after standing on sidewalk where they told us to

This video show police macing women who were already corralled and who made no aggressive or threatening moves

The authorities apparently felt that the response was so low that they could get rough with the protestors, meaning that their perception was that even unflattering coverage would not incite much bigger turnout. Sadly, they may have judged this correctly.

Favela War Zone in Rio

4 comments

Posted on 29th November 2010 by Reverse Engineer in Economy

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There has been mention in the MSM of an ongoing Crackdown going on in Rio de Janeiro, with Goobermint Gestapo attempting to go into the Favelas surrounding this city and take control of what amounts to a War Zone. Rio has one of the highest Murder rates in the world, though just like here most of that violence has been confined to their version of the 30 Blocks of Squalor, the Favelas.

Now, I want you to stop for a moment and think about some of the projections for the future made for when the Dollar goes the way of the Dinosaur. One of the most popular conjectures is that a new currency will be formed by the BRIC countries, specifically Brasil, Russia, India and China. These countries have been over the last 20 years the “successful” countries economically. They are ALSO the countries with the greatest wealth maldistribution and huge populations of impoverished people! How can you consider a country an economic success if MOST of the population lives in abject poverty?

Having lived in Rio myself, I have never believed for a minute any of the bullshit about Brasil being any kind of economic miracle. The small segment of Brasilian society in control of all the natural resources of the country rakes in huge profits selling those resources along with cheap labor, but the vast majority of the Brasilian population lives in utter squalor. Same is true for India, same is true for China. Far as Russia is concerned, since the collapse of the Soviet Union the country has been taken over and run by Gangsters, and again most of their population that hasn’t yet drank itself to death (Ruskie Seppuku) is living in abject poverty.

But boy, those BRIC countries sure can compete in the Marketplace! That is the Free Market at work for you! Capitalism in a NUTSHELL. We need to slash our wages also so we can get those Factories back here and show a Profit on the Pigman Balance Sheets! The whole idea is so conceptually bankrupt now I remain astounded that the Pigmen on this board still believe their own propaganda. At this point I truly don’t think they do, I think they are just so scared they will have their wealth expropriated they keep trying to convince impoverished people that Capitalism is GOOD for them. LOL.

Anyhow, the FSofA is rapidly sliding down into precisely the same kind of economy run in the BRIC countries, and ya know what? Once these Pigmen succeed in eviscerating the social welfare system and cut out all the “waste” in Goobermint, once we stop paying out bennies to the FSA, I wouldn’t be surprised if on the Balance Sheet at the BIS we look just as good on paper as the BRIC countries do. The issue being that our country will be just like them also, run by an Oligarchy of the filthy rich living in gated compounds, surrounded by an ocean of the impoverished living in the Favelas, or 30 Blocks of Squalor, however you want to label it.

The thing is here, from Brasil to Russia to China to India, the only thing which has kept these stratified societies from flying apart was the Oil conduit and at least enough cheap food to keep the impoverished from taking the violence outside their own little prison communities and attacking their Masters in the gated communities. I suspect what is happening in Brasil is a result of violence now migrating outward from the Favelas, and TPTB there are trying to reassert control by going in and duking it out with the local Gang Lords.

Rio is supposed to be hosting the Olympics in 2016, which should tell you something about the Globalist agenda. The IOC is part of the Propaganda arm of the Illuminati, and currently these folks are betting on the BRICs as the future repository of their Capital. Howver, to do so, they have to make those places safe for the filthy rich, and marauding Gangs on Copacabana Beach doesn’t fit that model.

Will they succeed in this current crackdown? Possibly for a while, but they are vastly outnumbered and you cannot go into the Favelas with Tanks, or even cars. They are all built on mountainsides, their “streets” are narrow walkways between shacks, it’s a Guerrilla fighter’s wet dream. The boys from the Favelas know their streets and alleys, the Gestapo do not. They have been involved in the drug trade for quite some time, they have pretty much the same set of Automatic Assault Rifles and RPGs to use. This show of force is an attempt to bring some order and assert Authority, but real authority comes from effectively governing and looking out for the needs of your people. In this definition, the Gang Lords who run those streets are much more the Legitimate Goobermint recognized by the people who live there, and they are less afraid of them than they are The Gestapo. The best I think can be achieved is another Stand Off after a few weeks going in to terrorize the impoverished who live in those slums.

Its going to be very much the same quite soon in all the Big Shitties of the industrialized world, from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York, from London to Paris to Berlin, from Beijing to Hong Kong to Singapore. About the only Big Shitty that won’t have this problem is likely to be Tokyo. The Nipponese will be lining up to Slit their Bellies Open in Ritual Seppuku for the greater good of the Land of the Rising Sun.

For a while this might persist, and there will be a stand off between the Gangs controlling these Big Shitties and the Gestapo of Halliburton and XE contractors employed by the Illuminati to protect their Walled compounds. It will work until the Rolling Blackouts come. When the lights go out, the ballgame changes.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.

RE