Fact-Free Zone

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Posted on 22nd July 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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 Guest Post by Dmitry Orlov

The fog of war that has been hovering over eastern Ukraine has now spread to the shores of the Potomac, and from there has inundated ever pore of western body politic. The party line is that pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, using a surface-to-air missile provided by Russia, with Russia’s support and complicity. The response is to push for tougher sanctions against Russian companies and Mr. Putin’s entourage. None of this is based on fact. To start with, it isn’t known that MH-17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile; it could have been an air-to-air missile, a bomb on board, a mechanical failure, or the same (or different) mysterious force that brought down MH-370 earlier this year. Mysteries abound, and yet western media knows it’s Mr. Putin’s fault.


Step through the looking glass over to Russia, and you hear a completely different story: the plane was shot down by the Ukrainians in order to frame the rebels and Russia in an attempt to pull NATO into the conflict. Here, we have numerous supporting “facts,” at varying levels of truthiness. But I have no way to independently verify any of them, and so instead I will organize what has been known into a pattern, and let you decide for yourself which story (if any) you should believe.

When trying to catch a criminal, a standard method is to look at means, motive and opportunity. Was the criminal physically capable of committing the act? Did the criminal have a good reason for committing it? Did the criminal get a chance to do it? One more criterion is often quite helpful: does the crime fit the perpetrator’s known modus operandi? Let’s give this method a try.

Means

Did the rebels have the means to shoot down the plane? They have no military aviation and no functioning airport (the one near Donetsk is out of commission and occupied by Ukrainian troops). They have shoulder-fired missiles, which can take out helicopters and planes flying at low altitude, but are useless against airliners flying at cruising altitude. They also have a “Buk” air defense unit (one truck’s worth of it) which they took from the Ukrainians as a trophy, but it’s said to be non-operational. A rocket from this unit could have shot down MH-17, but only if it were integrated with a radar system, which the rebels did not have.

Did the Ukrainians have the means? They had five “Buk” units active in the area on that day, integrated with a radar system which was also active that day. (Deploying an air defense system against an enemy that does not have any aviation seems a bit strange.) According to a report from a Spanish air traffic controller who was working in Kiev (and has since been dismissed, along with other foreign ATCs) MH-17 was followed by two SU-25 jet fighters. According to a Russian expert on “Buk” systems, the damage to the fuselage visible on photographs of the crash site could not have been from a “Buk” surface-to-air missile, but could have been caused by an air-to-air missile fired by a SU-25.

Did the Russians have the means? Of course they did. Never underestimate the Russians.

Motive

The rebels had absolutely no reason to want to shoot down that plane. This leaves open the possibility that they shot it down by mistake, but that’s not a motive, and if that is what happened, then this is not a crime but an accident, because a crime is an intentional act.

On the other hand, the Ukrainians had a really good motive for shooting it down. This part takes a little more explaining.

You see, the Ukrainians have been doing everything they can to pull Russia into the conflict, in order to then pull NATO into it as well, because their chance of victory while acting alone is nil. To this end, they have been shelling civilian targets relentlessly, causing many dead and wounded, in the hopes that Russian troops would pour across the border to defend them. This failed to happen; instead, the Ukrainians have succeeded in precipitating a refugee crisis that has produced something like half a million refugees seeking asylum in Russia. This has had an effect opposite of the intended. Whereas previously the rebels’ recruitment activities were somewhat hampered by a wait-and-see attitude on the part of the population, now they have seen all they need to see and are ready to fight. Also, the Russian population inside Russia itself has found the stories of the refugees sufficiently compelling to open their wallets, so that now the rebels are drawing healthy salaries and have good kit and a steady stream of supplies. They are highly motivated to fight and to win, with a steady rah-rah of support coming from across the border in Russia, while the Ukrainian forces they face consist of underfed, untrained, badly armed recruits being goaded into battle by Right Sector thugs. Their recent battle plan was to directly attack the population centers in Donetsk and Lugansk while cutting the rebels off from the Russian border. One column managed to break through to the defunct Donetsk airport, where it has been kettled every since (it is currently trying to break out in the direction of Donetsk). The troops massed along the Russian border got kettled there and decimated, with quite a few Ukrainian soldiers walking across the border sans weapons seeking food, shelter and medical treatment.

So much for Ukrainian military strategy. But the other thing to note is that time is not on the Ukrainians’ side. First, a bit of background. Ukraine has always been a rather lopsided country. There are the Russian provinces in the east, which had coal, industry, good farmland, and lots of trade with Russia proper. They used to be Russia proper until Lenin lumped them into Ukraine, in an effort to improve it. And then there is western Ukraine, which, with the possible exception of Kiev, could never earn its keep. In terms of economic and social development, it resembles an African nation. Since its independence, Ukraine had subsisted through trade with Russia and through transfer payments from (Russian-speaking) Ukrainian citizens working in Russia. Because of fighting in the east, trade with Russia has been disrupted. Ukraine has been cut off from Russian natural gas supplies due to nonpayment; as a result, more and more Ukrainian cities no longer supply hot water, and come winter, there will be no heat. The economy is in freefall. The Ukrainian government received some funds from the IMF, but these are being squandered on the failing military campaign. The association agreement which Ukraine signed with the EU remains a dead letter because Ukraine does not make anything that the EU wants, and Ukraine has no money with which to buy anything the EU makes. So much for Ukrainian economic strategy.

And so, from the Ukrainian government’s perspective, shooting down an airliner and blaming it on Putin (which is something that western governments and media are only too happy to do) probably seemed like a good ploy.

What about Russia? Well, the Russian government’s chief concern is with avoiding becoming drawn into the conflict. The basic Russian strategy is, as I put it a couple of months ago, to let Ukraine stew in its own juices until the meat falls off the bone, and this strategy is working just fine.

It is important to draw a difference between the Russian state (Putin, the Kremlin, etc.) and the Russian people. According to Russian law, any Russian-speaking person born on the territory of the USSR has an automatic right to a Russian citizenship, so the people of eastern Ukraine are by default Russian citizens. It is a fine line between providing support to your fellow-Russians across the border as a people and being drawn into an international conflict as a nation, and the Russian government has been rather careful to preserve this distinction. Thus, the Russian government was very highly motivated to prevent this incident.

Opportunity

For the rebels, the opportunity amounted to looking up and seeing a plane. If, at that moment, they made the split-second decision to shoot it down using one of the “Buk” rockets (provided they had one ready to go) without radar support they could have only fired that rocket in “pursuit mode,” where the rocket flies to where the plane is, not to where the plane will be, and it is rather uncertain whether the rocket would have caught up with the jet before running out of fuel.

On the other hand, the Ukrainians gave themselves the opportunity by having Dnepropetrovsk ATC redirect the flight over the conflict zone, where they deployed their “Buk” systems.

I have trouble imagining a scenario in which Russian air defense forces would have been presented with an opportunity to shoot down MH-17.

MO

Although some criminals commit just one crime (and sometimes even get away with it), typically a life of crime follows a pattern. What is the pattern behind shooting down MH-17? It is to kill civilians for political gain. What has the Ukrainian government been doing, for quite some time now, in shelling apartment buildings, schools and hospitals in the east of the country? Killing civilians, of course. And why have they been doing it? For a political reason: to attempt to draw the Russian military into the conflict, in order to then appeal to NATO for help. This is part of a larger plan on the part of the US to use Ukraine as a wedge between Russia and the EU, to deprive the EU of Russian natural gas supplies and make it even more dependent on the US.

Conclusions

My effort here is to present you with a better framework for analyzing these events than you might find elsewhere, but I hope that you uncover your own “facts” (to the extent that facts can be said to exist on the internet) and draw your own conclusions.

But I would like to point out a few things.

First, I often encounter a certain attitude among Americans. They may absolutely hate the evil clowns in Washington who are ruining their lives, but when looking at the world, they suddenly decide that every other government is equally bad, that theirs is not so bad after all, and since the Ukrainians are suddenly our friends (or so says John Kerry) then they are not so bad either. Don’t make such assumptions. Look for evidence. To me it indicates that your government is run by evil clowns; other governments—not so much.

Second, citizens of the European Union shouldn’t think that it is only the dark-skinned people in faraway places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and so on that get killed in the various wars instigated by the US. Continue outsourcing your foreign policy to the evil clowns of Washington (and the spineless jellies in Brussels) and you too will get killed.

Lastly, we already know who the criminals are in this case: they are the western politicians and journalists. Airliners fall out of the sky with some regularity. This is tragic, but not unexpected, and is not necessarily the result of a crime. The real crime is in exploiting this tragedy in order to smear and insult an entire people. Don’t worry, the people in question are too wise to respond to such ridiculous provocations. But the reputations of western journalists who have been covering this tragic event have already gone up in smoke. All of western media is now about as good as Pravda was back in the Soviet days—good for wiping your ass with, that is. It’s a sad day for anyone who cares about the truth but can only understand English.

Whistleblower: U.S. Satellite Images Show Ukrainian Troops Shooting Down MH17

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Posted on 21st July 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via InfoWars

Source tells award winning reporter Washington lying about responsibility for tragedy

by Paul Joseph Watson | July 21, 2014


Award winning former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry has been told by an intelligence source that the United States is in possession of satellite imagery which shows that Ukrainian troops were responsible for the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

In the absence of any proper investigation, media rhetoric over the last few days has firmly pointed the finger of blame for the downing of the aircraft on Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels, but Parry’s source tells a different story.

What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.

The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said.

Although the establishment press has attempted to deride any questioning of the official narrative that Ukrainian rebels were responsible for the incident by invoking the tired “conspiracy theory” pejorative, Parry can hardly be dismissed as a crank given his key role in covering the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press and Newsweek. Indeed, Parry’s investigative work on intelligence matters, for which he was awarded the George Polk Award, suggests that the information provided by his source is worthy of serious attention.

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities continue to insist that Moscow-backed separatists were responsible for the tragedy, asserting that a BUK missile system was used to bring down the airliner. However, this was contradicted by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema, who stated, “The military told the president after the passenger plane had been shot down that the terrorists did not possess our Buk missile systems.”

In a related development, audio experts who conducted a study into the authenticity of a recording released by Ukrainian authorities which implicated Russian-backed rebels as being responsible for the missile attack on MH17 concluded that the tape was fabricated.

“The tape’s second fragment consists of three pieces but was presented as a single audio recording. However, a spectral and time analysis has showed that the dialog was cut into pieces and then assembled. Short pauses in the tape are very indicative: the audio file has preserved time marks which show that the dialog was assembled from various episodes, the expert said,” reports ITAR-TASS.

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ARE U.S. MEGA-CORPS REALLY OVERBURDENED BY TAXES?

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

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Whenever I see a story in the MSM about the poor goliath corporations who are struggling because they pay too much in taxes, my bullshit meter starts flashing red. The mega-corporations currently have the highest profits as a percentage of GDP in U.S. history. The mega-corporations control the politicians in Washington DC and state houses around the country. They write the tax laws and create the loopholes that keep them from incurring taxes.

The storyline is disingenuous, as they peddle charts like the one below showing statutory rates. These are the top rates that could be paid. Are these the actual rates paid by mega-corporations? Not a fucking chance. These parasitical mega-corps have armies of tax lawyers, tax accountants, and lobbyists making sure they don’t pay anything near 39.1%. These charts are produced by organizations funded by mega-corporations to make it seem like these corporations need lower tax rates.

 The reality is that mega-corporations are paying the lowest effective tax rate in U.S. history. Those congressional bribes are really paying dividends for the corporate CEOs and their lackeys. All time high profits, bonuses, and stock buybacks. But that isn’t good enough. They want more. They are never satisfied. Meanwhile, the little guy sees their income taxes, sales taxes, real estate taxes, tolls and thousands of government fees rise relentlessly. We don’t have lobbyists and lawyers fighting for us. Small businesses are effectively put out of business by mega-corps who write the laws, regulations and tax code. Don’t believe the baloney peddled by the corporate media about overburdened mega-corps.

FACEBOOK IS MANIPULATING & CONDITIONING YOU

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Posted on 30th June 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Welcome to the Brave New World where you are conditioned, manipulated, and entertained by unseen men seeking control, power and wealth. You’ve been conditioned to love your servitude. Bernays and Huxley had you pegged 80 years ago. Facebook will tell you how you should feel today.

 

I bet you thought Facebook tweaked your feed to provide you with “relevant” information you might find useful.

What if you found out that instead they “tweaked” it in an attempt to determine whether they could manipulate your emotional state?

Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published inThe Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientists tweaked the algorithm that determines which posts appear on users’ news feeds—specifically, researchers skewed the number of positive or negative terms seen by randomly selected users. Facebook then analyzed the future postings of those users over the course of a week to see if people responded with increased positivity or negativity of their own, thus answering the question of whether emotional states can be transmitted across a social network. Result: They can!

There seems to be this idea that you can get “something for nothing”, or the “something” you “pay” is in some way beneficial.  But what if it’s not?  What if it’s intended to manipulate how you think and respond to events around you?  What if that manipulation doesn’t end with an advertising message trying to get you to buy one product over another?

A rather liberal reading of Facebook’s terms would probably lead you to conclude that you agreed to this when you signed up for an account.  But this much is certain — you weren’t told about it in advance, and you didn’t explicitly consent.

This particular instance came to light because it led to a published research paper.  How much of this is going on in other venues entirely in secret, covered by the same sort of “policy agreement”, without your consent?

My best guess: A whole lot of it.

CRAMERICA DOWN TO 20,000 PEOPLE

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Posted on 24th June 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Maybe Comcast needs to market CNBC as a comedy channel. Or maybe they could have their vacuous bimbos report the business news topless. I must sheepishly admit that I actually bought one of Cramer’s books back in the 1990s. I haven’t watched 5 minutes of CNBC in the last five years. It’s a pathetic joke. If they are getting these kind of ratings with stocks near all-time highs, imagine how well they’ll do after the next crash. This is what happens when you disregard truthful journalism and provide propaganda in the form of entertainment, while kissing the ass of Wall Street oligarchs.

CNBC pays this douchebag over $1 million per year and he gets 2,000 viewers in his targeted demo. How do I get a gig like that? A TV version of TBP would attract 10 times as many viewers as Cramer. I’d have Billy and llpoh on as co-hosts.

CNBC Viewership Drops To Lowest Since 1997, Cramer Has Worst Month Ever

Tyler Durden's picture

While those in the financial industry who are forced to make profits by trading other people’s money (note: never their own) enjoy CNBC for the comedic content and the endless barrage of humorous propaganda (while getting their actionable info from Bloomberg and sellside soft-dollar services), the retail investor has traditionally relied on the Comcast channel for news updates, biased as they may be (remember: the Fed, ECB and BOJ are only micromanaging the global economy and injecting trillions because all is swell and self-sustainingly recovering and stuff) and trading recommendations.

At least that’s how it used to work. However, when one looks at the most recent CNBC ratings something odd emerges: either the “retail investor” has found an alternative media outlet for getting their financial information during the day (or simply is tired of being lied to about some magical recovery that only affects 1% of the population) or said retail investor simply no longer exists despite all the endless propaganda to the contrary spewed by CNBC itself.

The reason? According to the latest Nielsen Media Research data, in the second quarter of 2014, CNBC viewership for all viewers just dropped to 162,000 – a new (and depressing for Comcast) low, on par with CNBC’s viewership from Q2 of 1997!

Where things get funny is when one looks at the ratings of that consummate entertainer, that self-appointed “voice of the people”, Jim Cramer. Sadly for Cramer, the people are now gone. Because also according to Nielsen Jim Cramer’s Mad Money show just had its lowest ever rated month in the 25-54 demo, and is about to have its second lowest rated month ever across total viewers.

 

But the punchline is when one looks at Cramer’s ratings on a daily basis. It is here where one finds that this past Friday not only was Mad Money trounced by its competition including Fox Business’ Making Money with Charles Payne (at a ratio of some 9 to 1) and Bloomberg’s West show, but Mad Money had a laughable 2,000 (!) viewers in the targeted 25-54 demo.

Surely even the cancelled Larry Kudlow could find more viewers than this? And in other rhetorical question, maybe it is not too late for Comcast to ask for its money back?

FOURTH TURNING ACCELERATING

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

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“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability –problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” - The Fourth Turning - Strauss & Howe – 1997

This past week saw an event revealing the cluelessness and ignorance of the linear thinking establishment. They are oblivious to the cyclicality of history and unaware of their precarious situation, as the mood of the country and the world portends their demise. Eric Cantor, the ultimate establishment neo-con Republican House Majority Leader, was crushed in a primary by a completely unknown economics professor, outspent by Cantor $4.9 million to $123,000. Cantor spent more at steakhouses than David Brat spent on his entire campaign. Cantor, a lackey for Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Israel, and dozens of other mega-corporations, was the first House Majority leader defeated in a primary since the position was created in the 1890s. He won his last primary by 60%.

This was as big a shock to the Republican establishment as it was to the Democratic establishment, the mainstream corporate media establishment, and the Tea Party establishment that didn’t provide David Brat one red cent of their vast horde of contributions. They are now scrambling to generate a storyline explaining this unexplainable development as if it was entirely predictable. These wealthy, myopic, propaganda peddling, purveyors of the status quo just felt the foundation of their world shudder beneath them. Like a volcano, with pressure building within, the world as we know it is about to blow. Who gets devastated by the massive explosion and flow of molten lava is yet to be determined, but there is nothing the establishment can do to stop the eruption. This entire Deep State hierarchy has been developed over decades, as they have flawlessly implemented Edward Bernays teachings from the Propaganda playbook.

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

The linear thinkers, who constitute the invisible government and unelected true ruling power, are flabbergasted their game plan, which has worked for the last seven decades, is failing to have the usual sway over the normally compliant masses. Lies, misinformation, deception, propaganda, easy debt, cheap oil, endless commercial expansion, relentless marketing, never ending war, politicians selected by bankers and mega-corporations, tax code created to benefit the .01%, and laws written by the lobbyists for the oligarchs designed to control the plebs and enrich the modern aristocracy, made the world go round until 2008. Linear thinkers in government, business, banking and media have been perpetuating the falsehood of a return to normalcy, recovery, and linear progress. They are willfully ignorant of history because acknowledging its cyclicality would be admitting how precarious their positions of power, wealth, and control truly are.

History does not proceed in a straight line of forward advancement. It has a seasonal nature geared to the 80 year life cycle of human beings. The most basic lesson of history is we never seem to learn the lessons of history. A period of Crisis arrives like Winter, approximately 60 years after the resolution of the prior Crisis, with a climax occurring approximately 80 years after the prior Crisis climax. The generational dynamics based upon human life cycles have lined up once again into Crisis mode. Anyone who hasn’t sensed the mood change in the country since 2008, hasn’t been paying attention. The linear thinking establishment refuses to accept the inevitability of their existing paradigm collapsing in a chaotic whirlwind of violence, death on a grand scale and decisive war. The existing social order is always swept away during a Fourth Turning.

Saeculum (climax year) Crisis (Full Era) Time from one Crisis climax to next Crisis climax
Revolutionary (1781) American Revolution(1773–1794)
Civil War (1863) Civil War(1860–1865) 82 years
Great Power (1944) Great Depressionand World War II(1929-1946) 81 years
Millennial (2025?) Global Financial Crisis(2008–2029?) 81 years?

The Global Financial Crisis, which began in September 2008, marked the beginning of a likely two decade long episode of fierce winter-like blizzard conditions that will get progressively worse as this Fourth Turning churns toward its bloody climax. The evil wealthy men and their paid off pawns in politics and the media who constitute the invisible government, governing behind the scenes, molding minds, forming tastes and suggesting ideas to the gullible masses, will not relinquish their wealth and power without a fight. They have been utilizing all emergency monetary and fiscal levers, while conducting a data disinformation campaign and utilizing their control of the dying legacy media to keep the masses distracted, entertained and confused.

The establishment has convinced a vast swath of the public to actually believe 0% interest rates for the last 5 years, adding $1 trillion per year to the already Himalayan national debt, allowing the Federal Reserve buy $3 trillion of toxic debt from their Wall Street banking cabal owners, while creating a high rate of inflation in energy, food, healthcare and tuition costs, and negative growth in real wages, is somehow beneficial to them and reflects a return to normalcy. The current state of our economic, financial, political and judicial systems, along with the fraying social fabric of society reflects EXTREME dysfunction and in no way exhibits anything resembling a normal state of affairs. The government apparatchiks, corporate media talking heads, Wall Street captured economists, and lackeys for billionaire oligarchs are highly paid liars using every Bernaysian trick to manipulate the beliefs, desires, and prejudices of the willfully ignorant masses. They capitalize on the cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias being practiced by the majority of people in the country. Like a dog chasing its tail, they have the public up in arms about meaningless social issues and ignoring the looting of the country by sociopathic bankers.

Those in power need to sell their storyline of advancement, despite the overwhelming evidence of a societal implosion and economic regression for the 99.99%. They need to distract the masses with inconsequential emotional issues like gay marriage, mass murderers, climate change, party politics, racism, and phantom terror threats, so the masses don’t focus on how badly they are being screwed by the One Party invisible government. For those who have been too dumbed down by our government public education system to even comprehend anything beyond a third grade level, we have The Kardashians, Bridezilla, Duck Dynasty, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, iGadgets, Twitter, Facebook, professional sports, Hollywood blockbusters, and toxic fast food paid for with your EBT card. Our world is besieged by triviality, plagued by idiocy, inundated with propaganda, and consumed with consumption.

In a country of 318 million people, the few believe they must mold the minds of the masses in order for society to function smoothly. Of course this is a huge lie. They need to mold those minds in order to retain their power, wealth, control. They are focused on the daily dose of lies, mistruths, disinformation, and distractions required to keep the masses anesthetized. They have ignored the lessons of history and the big picture driving the Crisis events which will change the world over the next fifteen years. Fourth Turnings don’t calm down, fizzle out, or revert to what happened in the prior twenty years, just as the unyielding harsh Winter cannot revert to the glorious days of Fall or the sweltering days of Summer. There is no escaping the dire, deadly and dangerous times directly ahead of us.

“Reflect on what happens when a terrible winter blizzard strikes. You hear the weather warning but probably fail to act on it. The sky darkens. Then the storm hits with full fury, and the air is a howling whiteness. One by one, your links to the machine age break down. Electricity flickers out, cutting off the TV. Batteries fade, cutting off the radio. Phones go dead. Roads become impossible, and cars get stuck. Food supplies dwindle. Day to day vestiges of modern civilization – bank machines, mutual funds, mass retailers, computers, satellites, airplanes, governments – all recede into irrelevance. Picture yourself and your loved ones in the midst of a howling blizzard that lasts several years. Think about what you would need, who could help you, and why your fate might matter to anybody other than yourself. That is how to plan for a saecular winter. Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted.” – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

Strauss and Howe wrote their epic historical treatise in 1997 and their predictions, based upon centuries of generational analysis, have been uncannily accurate. The predictions are not event based, but based upon generational mood and core elements of Crisis, which were predictable over a decade before the 2008 start to this Crisis. The core elements of Debt, Civic Decay, and Global Disorder were evident to anyone with a functioning critical thinking brain, not in the employ of the establishment. These core elements are front and center today, as the Fourth Turning gains momentum like a gathering winter storm. The captured mainstream media does their utmost to obscure, downplay, and ignore these issues, but alternative truth telling websites like Zero Hedge, Mike Krieger’s Liberty Blitzkrieg, Mike Shedlock, John Rubino’s Dollar Collapse, Jim Kunstler, John Hussman, Jesse’s Cafe Americain, Charles Hugh Smith, Karl Denninger, and number of other freedom minded websites keep the spark of truth alive for those seeking it. A perusal of headlines from these sites over the last week or so provides the true nature of this worsening Fourth Turning Crisis:

Debt

Mindblowing Fact Of The Day: China Has Over 52 Million Vacant Homes

The Subprime Auto-Lending Credit Bubble Is Bursting

China HSBC PMI Misses; Economy Contracts For 5th Month In A Row

Will Spain Default?

Fed Prepares to Maintain Record Balance Sheet for Years

Steve Forbes Warns Of Economic “Catastrophe” Due To Fed’s Dollar Debasement

Obama Unveils Student Loan Debt Bubble Bailout

America’s Insatiable Demand For More Expensive Cars, Larger Homes And Bigger Debts

China Scrambling After “Discovering” Thousands Of Tons Of Rehypothecated Copper, Aluminum Missing

Western Banks Scramble As China’s “Rehypothecation Evaporation” Goes Global

Consumer Credit Has Fifth Biggest Monthly Jump In History; Revolving Credit Soars By Most Since November 2007

Abenomics’ Legacy: Japan’s Greatest “Misery” In 33 Years

NIRP Has Arrived: Europe Officially Enters The “Monetary Twilight Zone”

EU Warns Greece Is “A Cause Of Serious Concern” As Top Tax-Collector Resigns

Why Central Bank Stimulus Cannot Bring Economic Recovery

Summer Gas Prices Highest Since 2011 As Oil Hits 9-Month Highs

It Was A Reeeeeally Bad Winter: JPM Cuts Q1 GDP From -1.1% To -1.6%

How The Fed Feeds The Sharks, While Shafting Wage Earners And Savers

Fed’s Bubble Finance Is Primary Cause of Massive Wealth Gains At The Top

Former ECB Chief Economist Says Central Bank Run Monetary System Is “Pure Fiction”

More On The China Property Bubble: April New Housing Starts Down 25%; Beijing/Shanghai Sales Down 50%

What Happens After The Bubble Bursts: 85% Of Pension Funds Could Fail Due To An Era Of Niggardly Returns

Civic Decay

Across America, Police Departments Are Quietly Preparing For War

Meet The “Minerva Research Initiative” – The Pentagon’s Preparation For “Mass Civil Breakdown”

The Obama Administration Is Forcing Local Cops To Stay Silent On Surveillance

In 33 U.S. Cities, Feeding The Homeless Has Been Criminalized

Obama Popularity Plunges To New Low: “No Longer Likeable Enough”

Historic Loss: House Majority Leader Cantor Loses Virginia Primary To Tea Party’s Brat

Suspect Yells “Tell The Police, The Revolution Has Started” Before Shooting Spree In Las Vegas WalMart

Two Thirds Of Gen X Households Have Less Wealth Than Their Parents Did At The Same Age

7 In 10 Americans Believe The Crisis Is Not Over Or Worst Is Yet To Come: 52% Can’t Afford Their Homes

1 In 4 Obamacare Signups Are Faulty – But, We Are Sure Obama Never Knew Anything About It Until Now

Fed Warns The Plunge In “Routine” Jobs Won’t Slow Down Anytime Soon

US Finally Recovers All Jobs Lost Since 2007 While People Not In Labor Force Increase By 12.8 Million

Two-Thirds Of Americans Do Not Back Obama’s Decision On Bergdahl

Hiring In The US Remains Far Below Pre-Recession Levels

Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The Middle Class Is Dying

The Rich Get Richest: Household Net Worth Rises To All Time High Courtesy Of $67 Trillion In Financial Assets

Challenger Job Cuts Soar 45%; Most Layoffs Since Feb 2013

It’s Not Just Europe; As Many As 16 California Counties May Seek Secession From The State

America’s Insanely Complex And Endemically Corrupt Tax Code: Mother Lode Of Crony Capitalist Plunder

Global Disorder

Al-Qaeda Jihadis Loot Over $400 Million From Mosul Central Bank, Seize Saddam’s Hometown

Al Qaeda Militants Capture US Black Hawk Helicopters In Iraq

Iraq Update: Kurds Take Kirkuk, Al Qaeda Surges Toward Baghdad

“Well-Armed” Taliban Tried To Hijack Airplane Leading To Pakistan Airport Shootout

Gruesome Footage Of ISIS Atrocities Reveals Al Qaeda Jihadists “Will Stop At Nothing”

Ukraine Military Transport Plane Shot Down, 49 Killed

Marc Faber Blasts “American Military Presence In Asia Is Completely Unacceptable”

B-1 Stealth Bomber “Friendly Fire” Strike Kills 5 US Soldiers In Afghanistan

World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes

Déjà vu: echoes of pre-crisis world mount

Chinese military spending exceeds $145 billion, drones advanced: U.S.

Ukraine Closes 8 Border Crossings On Reports Of Russian Troop Movement

Firefight Underway As Russian “Rebels” Cross Border Into Ukraine

US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq’s Air Force

Two Ukraine Helicopters Shot Down: Watch As Gunship Engages Eastern Militia In Intense Fighting

Saudi Arabia Reveals Surge In MERS Deaths: One Third Of Infected Patients Die

Japan Base Wages Decline 23 Months In A Row

Obama Calls for $1 Billion Europe Security Fund; Will Increase U.S. Military Presence in Eastern Europe

China Sends 4 More Fighter Jets To Oil Rig Area As Vietnam Threatens Legal Action

“Political Earthquake” – Nigel Farage “Big Winner” In Local Elections

Do these headlines indicate a lessening or deepening of the ongoing Crisis? You won’t see these truthful headlines in the mainstream captured media. You will see feel good headlines touting non-existent economic recoveries, decreasing unemployment rates with record levels of non-working Americans, and storylines of government, corporate and consumer austerity as debt levels reach all-time highs. You will see stories scorning Edward Snowden as a traitor for exposing the highest levels of the United States government as criminals for shredding the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You will see articles hyping one hundred years of shale oil and gas as energy prices approach record highs and the point of peak cheap oil has been passed. You will see publications owned by billionaires peddling hogwash about fantastic Wall Street profits entirely dependent upon mark to fantasy accounting and accounting journal entries relieving loan loss reserves as loan losses rise. You will see hyperbolic fear mongering dreck about foiled terrorist plots concocted by the FBI and DHS. You will see stories about the evil Russians and evil Chinese as our CIA promotes the overthrow of democratically elected officials in countries around the globe. You will see stories about the dangers of foreign countries conducting cyber-warfare against the U.S. as our government intercepts every electronic communication of our allies and citizens. It’s as if we are lost in a blizzard of lies.

Debt, Civic Decay, Global Disorder

Propaganda and the molding of minds cannot change the course of history. Those in power can ignore the facts, but they can’t change the facts. During the “austere” period from 2009 through until today, total credit market debt in the U.S. has expanded from $53.4 trillion to $59.4 trillion. It now stands at 350% of GDP, even after the government added $500 billion out of thin air to GDP to further their deception of recovery. The U.S. national debt is at a record $17.5 trillion and goes up by $2.0 billion per day. This doesn’t include the $200 trillion of unfunded liabilities politicians have committed taxpayers to pay over the next few decades. Corporate debt is at record highs as CEO’s borrow to buy back their stock at record highs in order to boost EPS and drive their compensation higher.

US total debt 2014

Consumer debt has surged to new highs reaching $3.2 trillion, as government pushed subprime student loan debt and government peddled subprime auto loan lure more math challenged dupes into the banker web of debt. Even credit card debt surged in May as people can no longer make monthly payments for energy, food, rent, and healthcare. Retailers continue to report horrific profits as disposable income has been disposed of by the Federal Reserve’s QE and ZIRP “solutions”. The immense levels of debt plague the entire world as total global debt now surpasses $230 trillion, 313% of world GDP. The 40% surge in global debt since the 2008 debt created collapse is unprecedented in its scope and lunacy. Trying to resolve a debt problem created by criminal Wall Street bankers by allowing Wall Street controlled central bankers, politicians, and government bureaucrats to issue more debt, reduce interest rates to zero, and enrich the oligarchs, will end in catastrophe. The house of cards is teetering as trust dissipates, rehypothecated assets evaporate, the suppression of price discovery fails and the rigged stock market crashes for the third time in fourteen years.

The 2008 global financial crash was the catalyst for this Fourth Turning and the next leg down will unleash the fury of the masses as their remaining wealth, along with their hopes and dreams are obliterated. The civic decay is unmistakably visible, like a fissure in the road after an earthquake, and has left the masses angry, confused, dependent, ignorant, distracted, and suspicious. The extreme and growing wealth inequality driven by Federal Reserve policies, corporate lobbyist written government regulations and tax laws, and bankers controlling the political, economic, financial, and media levers has reached levels previously associated with collapse and revolution. The greed, hubris and arrogance of the .01% will lead to their downfall.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 9.23.25 PM

A country with 102 million of its 247 million working age population not working is a powder-keg and the politicians are acting like slow witted monkeys lighting matches. With 20% of the 145 million jobs part-time, more than half low paying service industry jobs, real wages lower than they were in 1998, and a median salary of $25,000, it’s understandable why 20% of the population relies on food stamps to survive. The discontent is growing. We got a preview of how the establishment will deal with disgruntlement during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests. Liberal Democrat mayors aligned with Fox News neo-cons, Wall Street bankers, and police state thugs to eradicate, beat, tear gas, and pepper spray young people exercising their right to free speech protesting the wolves of Wall Street, who had pulled of the largest heist in human history with absolutely no consequences for their criminality. Both OWS and the Tea Party were co-opted by the establishment in short order and have been used by the One Party of oligarchs as a means to divide and conquer, by keeping the masses blaming liberal or conservative phantoms for the state of disunion.

The seemingly never ending revelations from the hero of this Fourth Turning – Edward Snowden – of government surveillance regarding every electronic communication of every American by the NSA is proof of a complete disregard for Constitutionally guaranteed protections by the powers that be. The current administration in conjunction with the hacks from the two headed party ignore, flaunt and show disdain for the Bill of Rights and legal precedent as they run roughshod over the citizens. The transformation of our republic into an authoritarian surveillance police state is almost complete.

The militarization of local police forces by the DHS, military training exercises in major cities, and plans being drawn up by the authorities to confront civil unrest all point towards the coming breakdown of civil society. The complete lockdown of Boston to apprehend two teenage cooking utensil terrorists was a dry run and probably gave the oligarchs confidence in their plan, as Bostonians cowered in their homes as heavily armed police thugs pissed on the Fourth Amendment by conducting door to door searches. If you listen closely, you can hear the fabric of our civilization being torn asunder.

The past few weeks have seen global disorder reach new heights, as Iraq has become Mission Un-Accomplished, the Ukraine explodes into civil war as Russia cuts off their natural gas, violent protests continue to rock Brazil, Egypt, Spain, Greece, France, Turkey and a myriad of other hotspots around the world. The very same forces Obama, McCain and the military industrial complex have been arming in Syria to fight a dictator who was our ally, are now ransacking Iraq, murdering the people we put into power when we deposed another dictator who had been our ally when he was fighting our sworn enemy – Iran. It seems Iran is now helping Iraq fight these jihadists, as they slowly but surely gain control over Iraq. The EU has papered over their national insolvency problems with more debt, while imposing austerity measures on the peasants. See French Revolution for the ultimate resolution of this banker-centric solution. The endemic fraud in China, along with an imploding real estate market, and corruption on an epic scale are creating a perfect storm which will derail the China miracle meme.

Meanwhile, the new dictator in Egypt who overthrew the democratically elected government, after our former dictator ally was deposed when Obama refused to support him, has clamped down on the citizens with his military force. The Ukraine is being torn apart after the CIA and their counterparts in the EU undermined the democratically elected government and started a civil war to undermine Russian influence in that country. To an impartial observer, you might think the American Empire is purposely sowing seeds of discontent, war, and disorder around the globe. Never ending war benefits the military industrial complex, as tremendous profits are generated from the sale of arms to all parties involved. Iraq and Syria are good for the bottom line of the U.S. Defense Industry. War and global disorder also benefit the worldwide banking cabal, as the only way to fund these misadventures is through debt. As we all know, debt is what makes this world go round – until it doesn’t.

There has been a virtual mainstream media blackout regarding the Ukraine as government forces bomb and murder civilians. The billionaires running America need to support the billionaire president of the Ukraine because he is one of them. Truth has no place in modern governmental affairs. The mainstream media ignores the fact the United States has armed Sunni terrorists in Syria who are now on the verge of overrunning Baghdad, as they slaughter Iraqi Shiites by the thousands. They ignore the fact that Iraq was a modern, stable, non-religious, oil producing nation under Hussein, with no Al Qaeda or sectarian violence. The United States invaded a sovereign country under false pretenses, wasted over $1 trillion of precious national wealth, killed over 100,000 Iraqis, sustained over 37,000 physical casualties, untold numbers of mental casualties, and now Iraq is dissolving into a quagmire of religious violence threatening oil supplies and driving prices higher. After 13 years and 21,000 casualties in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than ever as we declare victory and slink away. Libya has been another feather in the cap of American foreign policy as we deposed another former ally dictator and have left the country in disarray and civil war. Just because the American corporate media doesn’t report these facts, doesn’t make them not so.

It should be clear to anyone willing to open their eyes and not be influenced by the establishment propaganda that this Fourth Turning is entering a new ominous phase, as the 2008 Global Financial Crisis catalyst has ignited a volcanic eruption which has put tremendous strain on the areas of extreme vulnerability – debt, civic decay, global disorder. The few aware Americans who frequent truth telling websites are frustrated and impatient, waiting for the tsunami of change to sweep over the world. History operates at its own cyclical pace. An accelerated Fourth Turning would likely not be a positive development. The Civil War Crisis was accelerated, resulting in 700,000 deaths in four years. With the worldwide proliferation of nuclear missiles, this Fourth Turning could be over with the push of a button. I don’t think anyone is rooting for that outcome.

You can easily be distracted by the day to day machinations of evil men, relentless propaganda, meaningless distractions, and various forms of bread and circuses. But history is unforgiving. The details and events will be different, but the path of this Crisis will follow past Crisis periods. The worldwide debt bubble will burst. The resulting loss of wealth, jobs, entitlements and trust will ignite mass civil disorder as years of civic decay lead to a swift societal collapse. With China also entering a Fourth Turning, a global debt implosion, resource wars breaking out, religious extremism, and nationalistic drums beating, the likelihood of global war is high.

For some perspective, six years into the last Fourth Turning in 1935, GDP had risen by 30% from its 1933 low and FDR’s New Deal was supposedly lifting the country from its depths. In reality, the population was experiencing a worsening depression and a few years later a world war killed 65 million people. After six years the Civil War Crisis was resolved with 5% of the nation’s male population killed, a president assassinated, and the South left in ruins. This Fourth Turning will proceed along its destined path at its own pace. The molten ingredients of debt, civic decay and global disorder are conjoining in an explosive concoction leading to a conflagration which will flow across the globe on a scale not seen since the Second World War. There is no escaping the trials and tribulations awaiting us. The outcome is uncertain. It could end in glory or destruction. Individual sacrifice, shared burdens, courageous stands and inspired leadership will be required to survive the perilous trials ahead.

I see the bad moon arising

I see trouble on the way

I see earthquakes and lightnin’

I see bad times today

Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Imagine some national (and probably global) volcanic eruption, initially flowing along channels of distress that were created during the Unraveling era and further widened by the catalyst. Trying to foresee where the eruption will go once it bursts free of the channels is like trying to predict the exact fault line of an earthquake. All you know in advance is something about the molten ingredients of the climax, which could include the following:

  • Economic distress, with public debt in default, entitlement trust funds in bankruptcy, mounting poverty and unemployment, trade wars, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation (or deflation)
  • Social distress, with violence fueled by class, race, nativism, or religion and abetted by armed gangs, underground militias, and mercenaries hired by walled communities
  • Political distress, with institutional collapse, open tax revolts, one-party hegemony, major constitutional change, secessionism, authoritarianism, and altered national borders
  • Military distress, with war against terrorists or foreign regimes equipped with weapons of mass destruction” -  The Fourth Turning - Strauss & Howe – 1997

White House Launches Propaganda At TROLL Level

2 comments

Posted on 2nd June 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Google and Obama – a match made in propaganda heaven. Your tax dollars at work.

 

Russian writer idaltae tweeted the following:

Because she didn’t say what search term she used to pull up that ad – and because we don’t live in Russia – it took some legwork to verify that this is real.

Specifically, we used Keyword Spy – a highly-regarded and widely-used resource in the SEO industry – to see if the White House had purchased keywords for Google using the domain name WhiteHouse.gov.

Indeed, we did find the ad using Keyword Spy:

 

Keyword Spy also told us the keywords which the White House purchased:

 

Telenor is a huge telecommunications company based in Norway, which provides telecom services in Eastern Europe, and has had a series of legal disputes regarding its sizable ownership stake in Russian and Ukrainian telecoms.

In other words, Telenor Russia is probably a popular Google search term in Russia and Ukraine.  And the White House has purchased Google key words to troll Putin.

Propaganda much?

TRUTH IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

5 comments

Posted on 2nd June 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Since you can’t trust anything produced by the American Mainstream Corporate Media, here is an alternative viewpoint of what is really happening in the Ukraine. Who do you believe, Obama or someone with out a dog in the hunt?

Mish Reader Who Speaks Russian and Reads Ukrainian Updates the Situation in Ukraine

 

News media reporting of the situation in Ukraine has nearly vanished in the past couple of weeks. Here is an update from reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who is fluent in Russian and can read Ukrainian.

Mish,

Just wanted to give you an update on Ukraine. A lot has happened since I wrote you last.

The rebels in the eastern regions are clearing their hinterland of minor government positions, and securing their supply lines from Russia. The Russian government has started to allow volunteers and weapons to move across the border without interference from its side.

Whether intended or not, it is the classic insurgent battle plan. Once this stage is completed, the remaining government forces in Donetsk and Lugansk regions will be so isolated as to have no choice but to “temporarily redeploy and regroup”, that is, to retreat.

The rebels now have MANPADS, Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems as suggested by the below photo.

Keep in mind that the average Ukrainian soldier is being paid around $100 per month, which often arrives late.  Most of these people have no motivation to risk their lives in a prolonged war of subjugation and occupation in the eastern regions. So far, Kiev has been compensating for this with its better-paid special police detachments as well as with various yahoo militias funded by the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, owner of Ukraine’s largest bank.

This cannot last. At some point, the body count will be such that a critical mass of the security forces will simply refuse to fight or even to be deployed in the war zones.  We are already starting to see this.  According to the Ministry of Interior, 13 west Ukrainian paramilitary police were fired today for refusing deployment to the eastern regions.  There was also a recent case where around 100 soldiers in one reserve unit refused call-up orders.

Moreover, it is well known that the military is poorly fed, subsisting on donations as well as shipments of American MREs (meals ready to eat). There is a lot of grumbling in the ranks, and at some point we are going to start seeing mutinies and mass desertions.

Eventually, the Ukrainian war effort will grind down and then collapse.  Meanwhile, the rebels grow stronger by roughly 100 men each day, on average. If Russia cuts off the gas in a few days, as threatened, this will be a huge blow, as it will degrade European support for Kiev.

Finally, please take a look at the video below of a pre-funeral memorial service for five rebel militiamen in a small city in the east. Pay special attention to the segment between 1:48 and 2:07. It looks to me like around two thousand people turned out for this event. So when you read that these rebels are “terrorists” and that theirs’ is not a popular movement, and that the recent independence vote was a total fraud, and that it is all the work of Russia, you know you are reading Western media bias.

If you want, I can start sending you photos of destroyed homes and dead civilians, just to show that it is happening, and the media here couldn’t care less.

All the best,

Jacob Dreizin

For Jacob’s previous email, please see Inside Ukraine: Mish Reader Who Speaks Ukrainian and Russian Challenges Western Media View of Events

Alternative Viewpoints

Clearly Jacob’s point of view is completely different than that presented by Western media.

Is it accurate?

I really do not know. However, it certainly is possible, even though some may consider the his viewpoint to be nothing but pro-Russian propaganda.

In a propaganda-war, the truth is frequently somewhere in the middle. But where in the middle? I will leave that for the reader to decide.

Meanwhile, my own opinion has been the Eastern regions will not become part of Russia for the simple reason Russia does not want the associated problems.

Will the issue of natural gas supply bring the crisis to head sooner rather than later? We will find out shortly.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com