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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 06:28:31 pm »

Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC Calling Media a “Trump Circus

BY Amy Goodman & Juan González, Democracy Now!

PUBLISHED January 9, 2019

“Prisoners of Donald Trump.” That’s how longtime NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin described the mainstream media in a scathing letter last week announcing he would be leaving the network, accusing the media of warmongering while ignoring the “creeping fascism of homeland security.” He issued the blistering critique after a 30-year relationship with NBC, calling for “Trump-free” media days and a reckoning about how the network encourages a state of perpetual warfare. We speak with Arkin, whose award-winning reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post. He is the author of many books, including Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: “Prisoners of Donald Trump.” That’s how longtime NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin described the mainstream media in a scathing letter last week announcing he would be leaving the network, accusing the media of warmongering while ignoring the, quote, “creeping fascism of homeland security.” Arkin issued the blistering critique after a 30-year relationship with NBC, calling for Trump-free media days and a reckoning about how the network encourages a state of perpetual warfare.

In the memo, he writes, quote, “I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.”

He continues, quote, “Of course [Trump] is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war.”

AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by William Arkin, longtime NBCreporter and analyst. His award-winning reporting has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post. He’s the author of many books, including Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

WILLIAM ARKIN: Thanks, Amy, for having me on.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you left NBC with this explosive memo, that not only indicts NBC, your network, says basically NBC, they might not like this, but doesn’t stand out among the crowd of corporate networks in dealing with this issue of perpetual war.

WILLIAM ARKIN: Everything I said in this letter, which was a goodbye letter to my colleagues at NBC, applies to all of the mainstream networks, applies to CNN and Fox, as well. So, I’m not really singling out NBC. I was just most familiar with it.

And my decision not to renew my contract was really one of thinking to myself that I wanted to stand back and think more about what we needed to do in order to change our national security policy. We’ve been at war now for 18 years. I don’t think anybody could argue that there’s a country in the Middle East that’s safer today than it was in 2001. The generals and the national security leadership that runs the country, and now also is the commentators and the analysts who populate the news media, really are not people who we can look to as saying, “Wow! They won a war. They avoided a war. They achieved some magnificent objective.” In fact, they are the custodians and the architects of perpetual warfare. And it seemed to me like there needed to be both a different voice and a solution. And I want to step back myself and think about how we can end this era of perpetual war and how we can build some real security, both in the United States and abroad.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’m wondering, in terms of your concerns about the coverage of President Trump and of the Trump era and your concern about the fixation—and it really is an obsession, almost—of all of the networks with covering him on not just a daily, but an hourly, minute-by-minute basis.

WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, let me just say, I’m here at Democracy Now!, and I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me, but you started your broadcast today making fun of the president and his remarks last night about the border. It’s almost impossible to avoid.

Donald Trump runs a circus. Every day, he gets up, he unzips his pants, and we go, “Oh, my god! What is he doing?” And then the next day he repeats, and we repeat.

So, I think that, to some degree, he sucks the oxygen out of the debate. He changes the discourse. And we haven’t figured out yet in the news media, every part of the news media, how to get beyond that. So, I’m not arguing only about the mainstream. I think everyone is stuck in the Donald Trump circus.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, I have to take issue with you saying “making fun,” because “fun” is the one word I wouldn’t use. But, yes, we did focus on what he had to say. The more the networks broadcast directly what he has to say, this is the information that gets out to the American people, and it is so critical to take on each point. In that case, for example, that immigrants commit more crimes than natural-born Americans, which isn’t true. And it’s absolutely critical, each time those comments are made, to counter them.

But let’s get to the issue of who populates the network TV shows, which is validating an issue you have criticized for so long and investigated for so long: the national security state.

WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, you know, I’ve been associated with television for 30 years. I’ve been a journalist for about the same period of time, but it’s not my background. My background was in Army intelligence, and then, thereafter, I wrote books about the military. And I was called upon to be a journalist because there was a desire on the part of the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and NBC to have experts helping people to understand an incredibly complex issue—national security.

In those days, when I started, we used to have civilian experts on the air, people who weren’t former government officials, people who weren’t retired generals, people who might be university professors or activists who worked in nongovernmental organizations or experts who were associated with think tanks. Something happened post-9/11, something happened in this intervening years, in which those people virtually disappeared from the airwaves, and we don’t see as many anymore.

And, in fact, we increasingly see journalists who are the commentators on what’s going on. Now, that’s a tricky position, because journalists are supposed to be unbiased, but also, at the same time, they’re supposed to be explaining to the public what’s going on with inside information.

But the end result of it is that we become shallower and shallower in our coverage, particularly in an area like national security. We’ve just become so shallow that we’re not really able even to see the truth, which is that we’re at war right now in nine countries around the world where we’re bombing, and we hardly report any of it on a day-to-day basis.

So, to me, the crisis is that we condone perpetual war by virtue of our lack of reporting and investigation, and then, second, we fill the airwaves or we fill the newspapers with stories about the immediate and don’t give an adequate amount of space to deeper investigations or what I would say would be net assessment investigations of what really is going on.

I mean, whether we should or shouldn’t withdraw troops from Syria, whether we should or shouldn’t withdraw troops from Afghanistan, whether we should or we shouldn’t improve our relations with Russia, whether we should or we shouldn’t pursue denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula—all of these questions deserve a high degree of investigation and reporting, beyond the question of whether or not Donald Trump is a buffoon. And we just don’t do it. We’re just not doing it.

And so, to me, I’m not necessarily interested in prescribing the why. I’m interested in changing the culture so that we can, in fact, better inform ourselves about national security, so that the citizenry can play a more powerful role in influencing our national security policy.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to expand on that. Back in the ’70s, the old socialist economists Baran and Sweezy used to talk about the huge percentage of the American population that owed its livelihood directly to the defense industry. Right? And one of the things in your Top Secret America exposés is that the Cold War ended, and the threats, supposedly, in terms of state threats, receded to the United States, but yet, obviously, the military maintains its huge spread across the world. And more importantly, through homeland security, the militarization internally of the country, as you point out, has gotten to the point where people don’t even know how extensive the homeland security apparatus is of this country and the number of people that have top-secret clearance.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, it seems to me that the number of people working for this apparatus has actually grown, despite the fact that the threats, the existential threats, to the United States have receded.

WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, there’s no question that the national security establishment has grown and has become far more powerful than it ever was. But here’s the change. We’ve shifted from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. And consequently, we’ve also shifted from the dominance of the military-industrial complex, if you will, to a much more insidious and much more difficult-to-diagnose information complex. So, the advent of contractors, the advent of a professional military, which means that the military itself touches fewer and fewer lives in America, all of those work together to make the national security state more and more embedded within our society, but yet, at the same time, more difficult to get to, more difficult to understand.

So, most people would be surprised to learn, for instance, that Amazon is one of the largest defense contractors, that they’re building the cloud and they’re building the data centers which support the intelligence community and support the military. And there are other civilian companies, that we associate with being civilians, who are also terrific beneficiaries of the military’s largesse.

So, to me, to diagnose properly where we stand today, the point of the Top Secret America investigation was to show the wild growth of all areas of national security and this new invention of homeland security, if you will, but at the same time to point out that it wasn’t something that was necessarily segregated from our society, it was more and more embedded within our society, and that that made it more and more difficult to analyze properly and to do something about.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you talked about the people who populate the networks as pundits, and you’ve been a fierce critic of the national security state, or at least understanding who it is who is explaining things to us. Reading from Politico, “Former CIA Director John Brennan … the latest superspook,” they said, “to be reborn as a TV newsie. He just cashed in at NBC News as a ‘senior national security and intelligence analyst’ and served his first expert views … on Meet the Press. The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN, which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity. Other, lesser-known national security veterans thrive under TV’s grow lights. Almost too numerous to list, they include Chuck Rosenberg, former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert Mueller; Frank Figliuzzi, former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate, deputy national security adviser under Bush, at NBC; and Fran Townsend, homeland security adviser under Bush.” And it goes on and on and on.

These are now the pundits. And so, when you have a situation like President Trump announcing he will immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and halve the troops that are in Afghanistan, you have this massive attack on him that’s actually led by the permanent national security state under the guise of pundits on television.

WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, I think that you’ve—I mean, what you said stands for itself, Amy. But I would add to it that I think the real crisis is that when we have a panel discussion on television, in the mainstream press, and even in the mainstream newspapers, we don’t populate that panel with people who are in opposition. We have a single war party in the United States, and it’s the only one that is given voice. And so, really, the crisis is not so much that there are experienced government officials speaking out; the problem is that there aren’t critics who are sitting next to them saying that “You’re full of it.” And so, to me, we need to balance that.

And I think that probably because of the phenomenon of Donald Trump—let’s just be honest about it—really what we see on TV now is former Obama administration officials masquerading as analysts who are nonpartisan, when in fact they are partisan. And indeed we see fewer retired generals and fewer retired admirals, who sometimes are useful in terms of explaining the profession of arms and the conduct of military operations, in favor of these political figures who have a partisan view.

I just don’t think the American public gets well served by the fact that there isn’t a broad range of opinions on those panels. I want to see peaceniks. I want to see academics. I want to see historians. I want them to as much have a voice, in terms of understanding what’s going on, as I do see a former Obama administration official.

AMY GOODMAN: We have break, but we’re going to come back to this conversation and talk, among other issues, about one of your statements—”don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?’’—and much more. We’re speaking to William Arkin, a longtime NBC reporter and analyst who just left the network, penning a letter critiquing the network for supporting perpetual warfare, his criticism, talking about the creeping fascism of homeland security. Stay with us.

Yes, I’ll Chip In

Video of interview at link below:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 08, 2019, 06:48:08 pm »

Nationalize the News Media to Save Democracy

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jan 7, 2019

Would nationalizing the news save our democracy from corporate owned news or would corproate owned politicians like Donald Trump use it to get total control of the news narrative?

Would Nationalizing the news help or hurt our democracy?

The News Media Cares Only For Money, Not You! (2019)

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jan 7, 2019

Is the news media's focus on sensationalism?   Do they care about the integrity of their reporting or does the news media only care about the bottom line?

How can we have journalism that is not beholden to money?

Are Fox 😈 News Viewers 🐒 Being Conned?

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jan 7, 2019

Are Fox News Viewers Being Conned or are they in on the game? 

Should we treat them with sympathy as working class people tricked by the corporate owned news media or as agents the lapdogs of the morbidly rich with a negative solidarity with the worst elements in our society?

or maybe a little of both, what do you think, are Fox News viewers being conned?

News Media Not Reporting Higher Taxes. What's being Hidden? (2019)

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jan 7, 2019

All the available information shows that taxing the rich will boost the economy, good for the people and good for the country, but the news won't report this, why not?

Did U.S. Foreign Policy Create the Migrant Crisis?

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Jan 7, 2019

The Southern Border of the United States has been at the center of controversy since Donald Trump opened his campaign for president by taking aim at Illegal immigrants and making "Build a wall" one of his most well known slogans. 

Missing from headlines about Trump's extreme policies, is the and why the Migrant Caravan, Refugees and immigrants are coming to the border?

Professor Greg Grandin , author of numerous books, including The Last Colonial Massacre and  the upcoming The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall, joins the program with disturbing answers, imperialism and colonialism.

Did U.S. imperialism create the migrant crisis?

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Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2018, 01:53:29 pm »

Moyers Talks To Author Ben Fountain About Trump’s Triumph

This is the boldest, bravest and most bracing book about politics that I have read this year.



BEN FOUNTAIN: So much of the news coverage portrayed his campaign as a challenge to the establishment of the Republican Party, the way the Republican Party had conducted itself the last 50 years. But, come on, he was simply doing the same thing, talking the same game Republicans have been doing for years, but he did it better. He’s absolutely a virtuoso of the politics of paranoia and racism, cultural resentment, xenophobia, misogyny and all the rest that the GOP has prospered on for the past 50 years.
What IS a New Democrat 😈?

BILL MOYERS: Yet he would have lost, I’ll wager, if the Democrats had kept their house in order and their priorities straight. Your take on how both parties paved the way for Trump is tough and true, but your account of how the Democrats piled on the people they once represented is one for the ages, in no small part because of your eye for details. Your chapter “Hillary Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” is wicked in its particulars. You might have painted a big mural on the wall — and there is an impressive scope to your story — but it’s the pimples of guilt that are most revealing. Like how establishment Democrats, seeing Republicans raise so much money from the oligarchs, set out to tap into the loot by developing close relationships with big donors and big business. For one thing, they organized an outfit called the Democratic Leadership Council [DLC] with an “executive council” that included corporate behemoths such as ARCO, Chevron, Merck, DuPont, Microsoft, Philip Morris, Koch Industries. Among the trustees would eventually be the longtime chief political operative for Charles 🦕 and David Koch 🦖. His nickname was “the Pirate .” I might think you had made that up if I hadn’t seen note 11, page 255.

BEN FOUNTAIN: Thank you. But let me make this point: In one sense the so-called New Democrats of the Clinton years were traditional Democrats in that they were still strong for civil rights, for cultural diversity, sensitive to sexual orientation and ethnicity. But in terms of rock-bottom economics, of all those people really hurt, even ruined, under globalization and the reckless financialization of the American economy, establishment Democrats became more and more like Republicans: They stopped making the case for government. Republicans were perfectly happy to wage class war against the constituencies Democrats nominally represent. Democrats didn’t exactly become pacifists, but — well, let me put it this way: Those eight years of Bill Clinton’s New Democrats served the party’s traditional constituency of the working class, the middle class, minorities, the poor and immigrants about as well as the second coming of Herbert Hoover.

BILL MOYERS: One might say Democrats pulled up their roots on Main Street and repotted them on Wall Street, where Hillary Clinton plucked plenty of posies before and during the 2016 campaign.


BILL MOYERS: We’re finally scraping the whitewash off our mythologies, and that’s painful for those whose lives were framed by those mythologies.

BEN FOUNTAIN: Yes, the paradigm of what it means to be an American is changing, and it needs to change if we’re going to have a realistic idea of ourselves and our history. There’s the old paradigm of mythic whiteness — John Wayne, on his horse: the big white guy who tames the frontier. Well, the reality was — is — much more complex and problematic than that. But a lot of white folks have felt demeaned and put-upon, especially by so-called “elites” — educated opinion, the intellectuals, the scholars and writers who are bringing historical truths to light and insisting that they be reckoned with. Not only do a lot of white people feel threatened by this, they feel insulted, condemned. That’s a fraught psychological state to live in.

BILL MOYERS: People want their John Wayne back.

BEN FOUNTAIN: Oh man, do they. I saw it everywhere on the campaign trail: Trump gave a huge swath of white America back to itself. Gave them psychological, emotional affirmation as an antidote for all the anxiety, all the resentment they’d been feeling. He told them: “You aren’t bad; you’re good. Actually, you are the real America.” That kind of affirmation is powerful medicine in politics.

The Ghost of George Wallace

BILL MOYERS: Backlash thrives on it. Think of the backlash after the emancipation of the slaves. Demagogic politicians rallied a defeated and sullen South to put the chains back on black people — all those segregationist laws of Jim Crow. Lynching that continued into the 20th century. Statues erected to Confederate warriors to preserve the memory of the “Lost Cause.  And then the backlash in our time against the Supreme Court’s order to desegregate the schools, against passage by Congress of civil rights and voting rights legislation, against the struggle and victories of the civil rights movement. Whites fled to the suburbs, opened private religious schools, created federal housing policies that institutionalized segregation on economic grounds.


BILL MOYERS: Yeats got it right: “We had fed the heart on fantasies / The heart’s grown brutal from the fare.”


J.R. Comes Home

BILL MOYERS: So he’s less an aberration than a culmination —

BEN FOUNTAIN: — Of a certain strand of American life, yes. Well, several strands. We can’t discount the con man strand, for one. I found myself wondering how many tricks Trump poached from J.R. Ewing [the star of the TV series Dallas in the ’70s, played by Larry Hagman]. The creators of that hit saga had intended for J.R.’s “good” brother Bobby to be the star, but J.R. — a snake and bastard who cheated on his wife — stole the show. The man truly did not give a **** about anyone else. Yet the audience took to the villain — loved him. You can imagine Donald Trump watching J.R. and thinking, I can work with this. Just be myself . People loved J.R. not in spite of his nastiness and greed but because of it.

Full, excellent, article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 04, 2018, 05:01:17 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Here's the money quote in the following FACTUAL article with video:
NewsGuard , clearly influenced by Wall Street and indebted to big industries through its funding, is being positioned to eliminate competition, which will allow Big Industry to reign as the leading shaper of public opinion and government health policies

BEWARE: New Plan to Censor Health Websites

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked 
December 04, 2018


NewsGuard will rate online news brands based on nine criteria of credibility and transparency, ostensibly to help readers judge what is true in order to avoid fake news. It is currently focusing on U.S.-based media brands, but plans to expand online site reviews globally

NewsGuard received much of its startup funds from Publicis Groupe, a global communications group whose history of clients includes the drug and tobacco industries

NewsGuard, clearly influenced by Wall Street and indebted to big industries through its funding, is being positioned to eliminate competition, which will allow Big Industry to reign as the leading shaper of public opinion and government health policies

► Americans’ trust in the media is at an all-time low. According to a 2017 Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy by the Knight Foundation, 43 percent of Americans have a negative view of news media

► Sixty-six percent believe “most news media do not do a good job of separating fact from opinion”

Full Article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 26, 2018, 01:40:44 pm »

The “Malaise” Speech: When Jimmy Carter Humbly Told the Truth to Americans

July 16, 2018 | By The Conversation

Guest post by David Swartz of Asbury University/The Conversation

Employees at a gas station in Los Angeles watch President Jimmy Carter giving his energy speech over national television on July 15, 1979 (AP file photo)

Nearly 40 years ago, on July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter went on national television to share with millions of Americans his diagnosis of a nation in crisis. “All the legislation in the world,” he proclaimed, “can’t fix what’s wrong with America.” He went on to call upon American citizens to reflect on the meaning and purpose of their lives together.

Carter made several specific policy prescriptions. But in a presidency animated by spirituality perhaps more than any other in American history, this speech called more generally for national self-sacrifice and humility.

At a time when political strongmen, hypernationalism, and xenophobia have risen in the U.S. and the world, Carter’s speech offers a powerful counterexample to these trends.

A nation in ‘very serious trouble’

In 1979, Jimmy Carter was three years into his presidency. The burdens were many. Leading a divided Democratic Party, he faced a staunch and growing Republican opposition. The nation suffered from stagflation, a combination of economic stagnation and 12 percent inflation.

In 1973 the OPEC cartel, comprised mostly of Middle Eastern countries, had cut oil production and imposed an embargo against nations that supported Israel. In the late 1970s production declined again. Coupled with high global demand, this generated an energy crisis that increased gasoline prices by 55 percent in the first half of 1979.

In protest, truckers set bonfires in Pennsylvania, and Carter’s approval rating sank to 30 percent. An anxious Carter cut short his overseas trip to Vienna where he was holding nuclear-arms talks with the Soviet Union’s Leonid Brezhnev.

After a brief stop in Washington, the President retreated to Camp David for ten days. As he considered the severe and interlocking problems facing his administration, Carter read the Bible, historian Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism, and economist E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful, a meditation on the value of local community and the problems of excessive consumption.

He also invited representatives from many sectors of American life – business and labor leaders, teachers and preachers, and politicians and intellectuals – to consult with him. By the end of his retreat, Carter had concluded that the country faced more than a series of isolated problems. Collectively they comprised a fundamental cultural crisis.

The malaise speech

Having cloistered himself for an unprecedented length of time, the President emerged from Camp David with great drama on July 15, 1979. In a nationally televised speech that was watched by 65 million Americans, Carter intoned an evangelical-sounding lament about “a crisis of the American spirit.”

He said,

“In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God, too many of us now worship self-indulgence and consumption.”

Indeed, the President’s sermon expounded at length about excess. “Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but by what one owns,” he preached. But “owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning.”

It was a penetrating cultural critique that reflected Carter’s spiritual values. Like the writers of the New Testament, he called out sin. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, he confessed to personal and national pride.

In the mode of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, he noted the limits of human power and righteousness. In this moment of national chastening, he committed himself and the nation to rebirth and renewal.

As a scholar of American religious history, this so-called “malaise speech” (though Carter never actually used the word “malaise”) was, in my opinion, the most theologically profound speech by an American president since Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

A squandered opportunity

This articulation of economic and political humility sounded the perfect pitch for a nation whose confidence in civil institutions had been shaken. The Watergate scandal had revealed corruption in the nation’s highest political offices. The Vietnam War had ended with a Communist victory.

The “malaise speech” was a continuation of a long-running theme for Carter. In his 1977 inaugural address, he intoned, “We have learned that ‘more’ is not necessarily ‘better,’ that even our great nation has its recognized limits, and that we can neither answer all questions nor solve all problems … we must simply do our best.”

Popular memory suggests that the nation reacted negatively to his speech. In The Age of Reagan, historian Sean Wilentz writes that Carter appeared to be blaming the American citizens for their problems. Others panned Carter’s idealistic approach to the energy crisis as naïve.

Soon after the speech, Carter got a bump in his approval ratings. AP Photo/Harry Cabluck

But that was not how most Americans received the speech. In fact, Carter enjoyed an immediate 11 percent bump in his job approval rating in the days that followed. Clearly many agreed with Carter’s line that the nation was mired in a “moral and spiritual crisis.”

The President, however, failed to capitalize on the resonance with his meditation. Just two days after his speech, Carter fired his entire cabinet, which seemed to suggest that his government was in disarray.

The President’s poll numbers immediately melted. As Time magazine described it, “The President basked in the applause for a day and then set in motion his astounding purge, undoing much of the good he had done himself.” Ronald Reagan soon capitalized on the disillusionment. “I find no national malaise,” said Carter’s successor, who campaigned on a platform of America as “a shining city on a hill.

About to win the Cold War, America was ready for some exuberant nationalism, not a plain-style president who insisted on carrying his own garment bag aboard Air Force One.

New resonance

Forty years later, national jingoism pervades both political parties. Republicans and Democrats alike speak of the United States as a “city on a hill,” and Donald Trump’s “America first” rhetoric has lifted hubris to new heights and alienated allies around the world.

The Conversation Jimmy Carter’s sermon of humility speaks more than ever to crises of our times.

David Swartz is Associate Professor of History, Asbury University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.


“The world says: "You have needs -- satisfy them. You have as much right as the rich and the mighty. Don't hesitate to satisfy your needs; indeed, expand your needs and demand more." This is the worldly doctrine of today. And they believe that this is freedom. The result for the rich is isolation and suicide, for the poor, envy and murder.” ― Fyodor Dostoyyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Tomorrow is Yesterday...

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 20, 2018, 07:17:10 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The sad, but truthful, evidence that too many people have been brainwashed by our money worshipping sick society into equating cost with quality.

Nevertheless, it shows irrefutable evidence of the healing power of human faith , that most "modern" atheists refuse to acknowledge.

How Powerful Is the Placebo Effect? ???

You might not be able to put a price on happiness, but new research suggests that you may be able to put one on miracle medicine. In a recent study, 12 people with Parkinson's disease were given two identical saline injections (ie. placebos) but were told that one of the medications cost $1,500 USD and the other cost $100 USD.

The first injection produced a two-fold improvement in motor functioning compared with the second, and both showed improvement from the patients' baseline numbers.

The researchers suggest that since Parkinson's patients have decreased dopamine production as the disease worsens, the simple belief that a new medication might help was enough to prompt their brains to produce more dopamine.

Afterwards, two-thirds of the volunteers who showed the most improvement said that they believed the more expensive injection would provide the greatest benefit.

The good and bad of placebos: 🕵️

֍ In some cases, administering placebos has caused a "reverse placebo effect" in which patients experience side effects not associated with any medication.

֍ Clinical trials typically compare new medications with those already in use, not new medications with placebos.

֍ Some patients, notably those suffering from depression, ADHD, and irritable bowel syndrome, have shown improvement even when told that they are receiving a placebo.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 08, 2018, 10:36:49 pm »



Paul Street’s column will appear in Truthdig each Sunday through Aug. 12. Its regular schedule will resume when Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges returns from vacation.

The American Sea of Deception

By Paul Street

On the list of presidential liars: Shortly after being told of the 9/11 attacks of 2001, George W. Bush confers with administration members at a Florida school he was visiting. Months later, he would lie to the American people as he sought to justify an invasion of Iraq partly on the basis of the attacks. (The U.S. National Archives)

Four days ago, The Washington Post reported that the epic pathological liar Donald Trump made 4,229 false statements during his first 558 days as United States president. Trump spoke or tweeted falsely, on average, an astonishing 7.6 times per day during that time.

We have no historical database of presidential untruth on which to rely to make detailed comparisons, but it is certain that Trump’s rate of falsehood is beyond anything ever seen in the White House. Armed with Twitter and a mad and malignantly narcissistic penchant for twisting facts and truth in accord with his own ever-shifting sense of what serves his interests and hurts his perceived foes, this monstrosity is gaslighting the last flickering embers of civic democracy at a velocity that would make Goebbels green with envy.

Keeping up with Trump’s erroneous and duplicitous statements is exhausting work, hazardous to one’s own sanity. Just as depressing as Trump’s serial fabrication and invention is the apparent willingness of tens of millions of ostensibly decent and honest ordinary Americans to tolerate, dismiss or even believe the endless stream of nonsense and bullshit.

Still, if much of the populace has become inured to presidential lying and misstatement, it’s hardly all the current president’s fault.

Deception and misstatement are “as American as Cherry Pie” (to quote H. Rap Brown on violence)—though here perhaps I should say “as American as George Washington’s childhood cherry tree fable.”

While we’ve never seen anything on Trump’s psychotic scale, the problem of U.S. presidential deception goes way back in American history.

Eager for a back-door pretext to enter the war against German fascism (a good thing in the opinion of many), for example, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt lied to Congress and the American people when he claimed that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was “unprovoked” by the U.S. and a complete “surprise” to the U.S. military.

President Dwight Eisenhower flatly lied to the American people and the world when he denied the existence of American U-2 spy plane flights over Russia.

President John F. Kennedy lied about the supposed missile gap between the United States and the Soviet Union. And Kennedy lied when he claimed that the United States sought democracy in Latin America, Southeast Asia and around the world.

President Lyndon Johnson lied on Aug. 4, 1965, when he claimed that North Vietnam attacked U.S. Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. This provided a false pretext for a massive escalation of the U.S. war on Vietnam, resulting in the deaths of more than 50,000 U.S. military personnel and millions of Southeast Asians.

Regarding Vietnam, Daniel Ellsberg recalled 17 years ago that his 1971 release of the Pentagon Papers exposed U.S. military and intelligence documents “proving that the government had long lied to the country. Indeed, the papers revealed a policy of concealment and quite deliberate deception from the Truman administration onward. … A generation of presidents,” Ellsberg noted, “chose to conceal from Congress and the public what the real policy was. …”

President Richard Nixon lied about wanting peace in Vietnam (his agent, Henry Kissinger, actively undermined a peace accord with Hanoi before the 1968 election) and about respecting the neutrality of Cambodia. He lied through secrecy and omission about the criminal and fateful U.S. bombing of Cambodia—a far bigger crime than the burglarizing of the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex, about which he of course famously lied.

The serial fabricator Ronald Reagan made a special address to the nation in which he lied by saying, “We did not—repeat—we did not trade weapons or anything else [to Iran] for hostages, nor will we.”

President George H.W. Bush falsely claimed on at least five occasions in the run-up to the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War that Iraqi forces, after invading Kuwait, had pulled babies from incubators and left them to die.

President Bill Clinton shamelessly lied about his White House sexual shenanigans with Monica Lewinsky. He falsely claimed to be upholding international law and to be opposing genocide when he bombed Serbia for more than two months in early 1999.

The serial liar George W. Bush and his administration infamously, openly and elaborately lied about Saddam Hussein’s alleged Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and about Iraq’s purported links to al Qaida and the 9/11 jetliner attacks. After the WMD fabrication was exposed, Bush falsely claimed to have invaded Iraq to spread liberty and democracy.

Bill Clinton (subject of a useful Christopher Hitchens book titled “No One Left to Lie To”) and Barack Obama were both silver-tongued corporate-neoliberal Wall Street and Pentagon Democrats who falsely claimed to be progressive friends of working people and the poor. President Obama lied repeatedly, as when he falsely claimed that he would have his Department of Justice investigate and prosecute abusive lenders for cheating and defrauding ordinary homeowners. Obama misrepresented the facts badly when he repeatedly claimed (in what PolitiFact determined to be “The Lie of the Year” in 2013) that, under his Affordable Care Act, “If Americans like their doctor, they will keep their doctor. And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it.”

In a grotesque lie early in his presidency, Obama’s White House claimed that the carnage caused by its bombing of the Afghan village of Bola Boluk (where dozens of children were blown to pieces by U.S. ordnance) had really been inflicted by “Taliban grenades.”

But presidential lies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an American political, media, intellectual and educational culture that has long been drenched in a vast sea of fable, deception, ideological selection and flat-out propagandistic falsification.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 27, 2018, 02:30:17 pm »


Donald Trump Is America's 🦖🐉🦕 Greatest President

By Michael Harriot

July 26, 2018 Filed to: DONALD TRUMP

As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken, July 26, 1920

If one was to create a sentient being out of America’s past and present, it would look like Donald Trump. It would hate anyone who is not white. It would believe itself to be an infallible “stable genius.” It would hide secrets. It would whitewash its past. It would lie incessantly. It would rip brown babies from their mothers’ arms. It would criminalize Muslims. It would mirror the intellect and sentiment of the vast majority of people who fill the country from sea to shining sea.

Donald Trump is America.


Rick Perry 🦕, Trump’s Secretary of Energy, became famous after stating his desire to eliminate the Department of Energy.

Like this country, Donald Trump 🦀 is a mirage. His greatness is a figment of a collective white imagination that envisions a bright, shining star where there is only a dumpster fire.

Full EXCELLENT article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 25, 2018, 06:43:07 pm »

Agnotology: Part six of six parts

Agnotology: Part one of six parts

Agnotology: Part two of six parts

Agnotology: Part three of six parts

Agnotology: Part four of six parts

Agnotology: Part five of six parts

Fox 😈🦕🦖 news Climate change coverage

A truthful image from the UCS about Media propaganda.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 23, 2018, 12:05:59 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The SAME unethical strategy pioneered by the Tobacco bastards CONTINUES TO BE, USED by the Hydrocarbon Hellspawn Corporations 🦕🦖 for the last 40 years.  >:(

Agnotology: Part four of six parts

Agnotology: Part one of six parts

Agnotology: Part two of six parts

Agnotology: Part three of six parts

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 22, 2018, 12:16:51 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 21, 2018, 12:15:40 pm »

Agnotology: Part two of six parts

Agnotology: Part one of six parts
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 20, 2018, 02:39:34 pm »

Agnotology The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance

Edited by Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schiebinger

What don't we know, and why don't we know it? What keeps ignorance alive, or allows it to be used as a political instrument? Agnotology—the study of ignorance—provides a new theoretical perspective to broaden traditional questions about "how we know" to ask: Why don't we know what we don't know?

The essays assembled in Agnotology show that ignorance is often more than just an absence of knowledge; it can also be the outcome of cultural and political struggles. Ignorance has a history and a political geography, but there are also things people don't want you to know ("Doubt is our product" is the tobacco industry slogan).

Individual chapters treat examples from the realms of

֍ global climate change,

֍ military secrecy,

֍ female orgasm,

֍ environmental denialism,

֍ Native American paleontology,

֍ theoretical archaeology,

֍ racial ignorance,

֍ and more.

The goal of this volume is to better understand how and why various forms of knowing do not come to be, or have disappeared, or have become invisible.

About the author

Robert N. Proctor is Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University and the author of The Nazi War on Cancer (1999) and Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know and Don't Know (1995). Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Her recent books include Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (2004) and Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering (forthcoming from Stanford).

Two quotes from this book that are popular (found in several other books):


Page 86 - IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue.‎
Appears in 66 books from 1969-2008

Page 104 - All scientific work is incomplete — whether it be observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have, or to postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time.‎
Appears in 62 books from 1950-2008


Agelbert NOTICE: This is one of six posts I will make over the next several days on Agnotology, as excerpted from the excellent book I posted about above.

The purpose is to educate you on how TPTB game us. Feel free to pass these posts on to any naïve friends or family.  People who don't like the mushroom 🍄 treatment need to know how little access to historical truth and scientifically accurate information we actually have in this country>:(

IOW, for centuries, TPTB have had a HABIT of lying both actively and PASSIVELY (keeping information from you!). This has corrupted our culture and impeded scientific progress. It's getting WORSE, not better.   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 20, 2018, 02:07:23 pm »

Rod Serling: Logic is the enemy and truth is a menace.

There are still lots of GOOD people around resisting EVIL and working to do the will of the Creator of the Universe. The above are examples of good honest people telling the TRUTH. Watch out for those who distort EVERYTHING that is decent and good by calling the evil good and the good evil.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

"The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23

Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent-- the LORD detests them both. Proverbs 17:15

There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground. Amos 5:7

Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Habakkuk 1:4

You have wearied the LORD with your words. "How have we wearied him?" you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?" Malachi 2:17

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 18, 2018, 02:12:02 pm »

July 17, 2018 TD ORIGINALS

The Human Cost of Getting Used to Trump 🦀


The Trump 🦀-Sessions border crisis is fiction.

That’s the takeaway from a May 2018 study published in thejournal Criminology by scholars Michael T. Light of the University of Wisconsin and Ty Miller of Purdue University titled “Does Undocumented Immigration Increase Violent Crime?

The researchers wrote:

In reference to public policy, at the most basic level, our study calls into question one of the primary justifications for the immigration enforcement build‐up. Debates about the proper role of undocumented immigrants in U.S. society will no doubt continue, but they should do so in light of the available evidence. For this reason, any set of immigration policies moving forward should be crafted with the empirical understanding that undocumented immigration does not seem to have increased violent crime.

]Acknowledging there are “substantial differences in official reporting rates,” they concluded that “as undocumented immigration increased in recent decades, there was a significant, concomitant decrease in each measure of violent crime.” For the years 1990 to 2014, when undocumented immigration sharply increased, the authors said, “Our findings suggest that undocumented immigration over this period is generally associated with decreasing violent crime.”

The phoniness of the administration’s claim of a huge wave of immigrants overwhelming the border is shown in the latest report from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, the respected independent organization that compiles data on immigration.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2018, 01:27:49 pm »

When Did You Become Aware Of The Ongoing Collapse of Civilization?

I first became aware that Business as Usual (BAU) was a death sentence for human civilization by reading Counterpunch in the late 1990's.

I continue to be suspicous of the peak oil movement simply because it is a back door defense of massive price hikes in fossil fuels. The very idea that fossil fuels are "precious to civilization" is the height of Orwellian discourse. Yes, they boosted the standard of living for a period of time, but the COST of that boost has been, and increasingly is, degraded democracy, a SEVERELY degraded biosphere, strife, misery, slave wages, more wars, more pollution and eventual collapse. Fossil fuels were NEVER a "free lunch".

I will ALWAYS refuse to accept the BULLSHIT that those massively polluting fossil fuels are "precious" AND "indispensable" to the survival of human civilization.

I refuse to allow the peak oil meme to become a convenient "supply and demand" manufactured artificial scarcity excuse for the Profit over Planet BASTARDS 🐉🦕🦖 😈 👹, who got us into this mess in the first place, to profit even more.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:45:19 pm »

When Did You Become Aware Of The Ongoing Collapse of Civilization?

It's been a gradual awakening, to be sure.

It began in the late 80s when I worked with Greenpeace on the criminal practices of Waste Management; then went to work on radioactive waste issues with an organization called Don't Waste US; began reading Matt Savinar's forum Life After the Oil Crash, Matt Simmons, Michael Ruppert's website From the Wilderness and his eye-opening book Crossing the Rubicon, John Pilger, Bruce Gagnon and The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges @ truthdig, Guy McPherson and Climate Change, the Organic Consumers Association (and its expose of the food industry's control over what we eat), and most importantly, the World Socialist Web Site ... reading, reading, reading ... and watching, i.e., films on Vietnam, Salvador, Ukraine, Syria, this country's relentless bombing, invading, destroying country after country, overthrowing governments, etc etc etc.

It's been a 30-year study of social inequality, the pursuit of escalating wars, the struggles of the working class, the silencing and vilification of whistleblowers (Assange/Snowden etc.), Wall Street's financial fraud, and so much more.

Well, you get the picture.

It's not a wonder that the ruling class is censoring the Internet.

  Exactly right! Thank you for telling it like it is.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 12, 2018, 04:34:57 pm »

Atomic tests at the Nevada Proving Grounds (later the Nevada Test Site) show effects on well-kept homes, homes filled with trash and combustibles, and homes painted with reflective white paint. Asserts that cleanliness is an essential part of civil defense preparedness and that it increased survivability.
Selected for the 2002 National Film Registry of "artistically, culturally, and socially significant films.

Producer: National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association 

Sponsor: National Clean Up - Paint Up - Fix Up Bureau.
Produced with the cooperation of the Federal Civil Defense Administration. 

"The dingy house on the left. The dirty and littered house on the right. Or the clean, white house in the middle. It is your choice. The reward may be survival."

Absolutely amazing. But by now, not surprising,..
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 12, 2018, 02:57:41 pm »

Eighteen House Republicans already think Trump should win the Nobel for a foreign policy move they would have excoriated Obama for making.

Help, I'm trapped in a dangerous parallel universe and I need Zaphod Beeblebrox to swoop down and get me the **** outa here before this earth goes critical.

How Trump Made Diplomacy Great Again

Obama was attacked as ‘naive’ and ‘weak’ for talking to America’s enemies. Trump is turning it into a political asset.

Had Obama deigned to shake Kim's hand, the republicans on the hill would have erected a cross in the Rose Garden and nailed Barry O to it already.

Hypocrisy is just part of the skill set.


The propagandists have been polishing their skills for quite a while. Even before Bernays they excelled in finger pointing to avoid being finger pointed at, of course.

But these word twisting fun and games from the duopoloy are mere food fights.

If you want to GRADUATE as a full scale expert in MINDFORK, you need to make a video that will actually get people KILLED if they follow the recommendations delivered as "fatherly advice to help you survive and thrive".

I am talking about making NUCLEAR WAR so palatable to the average Joe and Jane that they actually believe that they will be just fine if they "keep their house and surrounding grounds tidy".

Yes, you heard that.

Yeah, it sounds REALLY NUTS, doesn't it?

Well, the people that ACTUALLY KNEW EXACTLY what nuclear bomb ionizing radiation initial AND deadly after effects were all about, DELIBERATELY set about to mislead the American Public.

How so? Well, years prior to the making of the following video, several animals had been exposed to radionuclides, and not just by putting them at the bomb explosion site to see the effects. Humans were surreptiously injected with Plutonium in tiny amounts to find a "non-deadly" dose. There was no "non-deadly" dose of Plutonium. There was no dose, no matter how minuscule, that did not cause the exposed human or animal to get cancer and die. The hardiest critters were the insects, but even those mutated so horribly that their offspring were not viable within three generations. ALL THIS WAS KNOWN BY THE AUTHORITIES YEARS BEFORE THIS VIDEO WAS MADE. 

Is it just my feverish imagination, or do you detect a wiff of 1950's style racism AND denigration of the poor in the video as well? Imagine some white dude's thoughts when he walks by some poor black's house after watching the following Mens Rea Propaganda Masterpiece. It is SO EASY, after watching the video, to hope those poor, and often black, folks, "get theirs" for not keeping their homes tidy. Thus, from a horrendous nuclear holocaust danger to the entire biosphere by a group of war loving bastards, the bomb is converted into an excuse for demonizing poor people who live in dilapitated housing from lack of work, lack of opportunities or routine American Racism.

To what you correctly said about hypocrisy being an integral part of the skill set, I would add mens rea.

The House In The Middle (1954)

Nuclear Vault

Published on Aug 28, 2009

Atomic tests at the Nevada Proving Grounds (later the Nevada Test Site) show effects on well-kept homes, homes filled with trash and combustibles, and homes painted with reflective white paint. Asserts that cleanliness is an essential part of civil defense preparedness and that it increased survivability.

Selected for the 2002 National Film Registry of "artistically, culturally, and socially significant " films.

Producer: National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association 

Sponsor: National Clean Up - Paint Up - Fix Up Bureau. 😇  ;)

Produced with the cooperation of the Federal Civil Defense Administration. 

"The dingy house on the left. The dirty and littered house on the right. Or the clean, white house in the middle. It is your choice. The reward may be survival."

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 12, 2018, 01:37:40 pm »


Jack Rasmus

Predicting the Global Economic Crisis

South America’s ‘Made in the USA’ Growing Crisis–How Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela Are Destabilized

June 10, 2018 by jackrasmus

Emerging market economies are heading for an economic implosion. From South America to South Asia conditions are deteriorating rapidly and heading for an even more severe economic crisis in which many are already mired. At the head of this list is Brazil and Argentina. Others increasingly fragile, however, include Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, and even India, which has covered up its weak economic condition, and massive non-performing bank loan problem, by manipulating its GDP to falsely exaggerate its growth rate.

Business pundits, and even some commentators on the ‘left’, argue that emerging market economies, of which all the above are key members, now account for more than half of the world’s GDP. This suggests their vulnerability to US and G7 economies is less than it has been in the past. The so-called advanced economies–i.e. the USA, Japan, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy (the ‘G7–are increasingly irrelevant. But global GDP numbers are manipulated everywhere to show a stronger growth than actually has been occurring. Overnight, economies like India double their GDP numbers by redefining categories that compose their Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by manipulating price estimations that boost real GDP and by introducing statistical assumptions in their estimation of growth that are gross misrepresentations. GDP is thus not a good indicator of the condition of their economies. Even so, global GDP itself is now slowing this past year, as global trade also slows (even before USA precipitated ‘trade wars’ take effect). But this idea of declining vulnerability of economies like Brazil and Argentina is incorrect.

GDP numbers obscure the still significant vulnerability of emerging market economies (EMEs) to the advanced economies and their policy actions, especially the USA. This is true for even the largest EME’s like Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia, India and others. More symptomatic economic indicators of the growing crisis in EMEs are their currency declines, money capital outflows, rising domestic interest rates, and rising import cost inflation.

USA Levers of Economic Power: Currency, Credit Access & Central Bank Rates

While the EME’s share of global GDP has risen in recent decades, the world economy is nevertheless still largely manipulated by the USA and other G7 economies. That manipulation is exercised by the USA in particular by several means: through its dominant currency, the US dollar; by control of the flow of much of global credit (and debt) by US banks and US shadow banks through capital markets; and by the influence of the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, over US interest rates and, in turn, rates by other central banks and banks elsewhere.

Recessions and crises in the EMEs are largely the consequence of USA policy shifts involving US interest rates, US dollar appreciation or depreciation, global crude oil price speculation that follow the dollar, or lending by US banks and US shadow banks (i.e. investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, etc.,) in what are called ‘capital (corporate debt) markets’ that function as alternative sources of credit from traditional bank loans.

In 2017 all these US policy levers began to shift to the disadvantage of emerging markets. That shift is accelerating in 2018. The result has been ‘made in the USA’ deepening recessions in the EMEs, collapse of their currencies, capital outflow from EMEs back to the USA and G7, accelerating EME domestic inflation, and increasing political unrest and instability.

Therefore, not GDP, but a more telling initial indicator of the growing fragility in emerging economies is the recent freefall of their currencies in relation to the US dollar, Euros, and Japanese Yen, as well as the capital flight from these countries that occurs in tandem with the collapse of their currencies. These in turn become the key drivers of EME domestic recession, mass unemployment, inflation, goods shortages, and growing political instability.

And at the head of the list of economies with currency instability today in South America are Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela. But the same process is emerging rapidly elsewhere in the EMEs, in Turkey, Indonesia. Malaysia, and perhaps next even India. But no region of the global economy more strongly reflects the crisis today than Brazil and Argentina.

Destabilizing Argentina and Brazil

Argentina’s currency, the Peso, has fallen around 25% since the beginning of 2018. Turkey, Brazil and others are also falling at double digit rates in recent months. With the collapse of their currency, the value of investments held by capitalists in these countries–foreign and domestic alike–also fall in value. To protect the value of investors’ assets from collapsing with their currency (i.e. stocks, bonds, real estate, foreign currency holdings, derivatives, etc.) their governments (legislatures and central banks) respond by raising interest rates in their own economies, in the desperate attempt to stem the capital outflow set off by currency collapse. Investors’ investment values are propped up by raising domestic interest rates. But the the contradiction is that higher interest rates depress the real economy, throwing it into recession; or if recession already exists, into yet deeper recession and even depression. But investors don’t care about recession; they care foremost about protecting the value of their investments. Thus the pro-business, pro-investor EME governments opt for higher rates and accept mass unemployment as a cost.

EME currency collapse has another economic consequence. Since most of these countries import much of their basic goods (food, medical supplies, oil, raw materials for manufacturing, consumer goods, etc.), the collapsing currencies also raise inflation on these goods due to rising import costs. Thus stagnating and then declining real economy and mass unemployment is accompanied by rising prices. More workers are laid off because of the slowing economy, while the prices they must pay for basic goods and services simultaneously rise as well.

Argentina and Brazil are especially exposed to this scenario of US rising interest rates and dollar that precipitates collapse of their currencies, capital flight, rate hikes, mass unemployment and inflation.
Since the 2008 global crash they have borrowed heavily–especially in US dollars. The massive trillions of dollars of debt they accumulated since 2008 must be repaid in dollars. To get dollars they must export and sell more goods. But the slowing of global trade and other developments in China, Europe and China has reduced their ability to export more. They can’t raise sufficient dollars with which to pay their US dollar denominated debt (to US banks and shadow banks). In order to continue to pay their foreign debt principal and interest coming due (to US and G7 bankers) they are forced to borrow dollars from the International Monetary Fund, IMF–another key economic institution controlled by the US and G7.

Argentina recently borrowed another $50 billion from the IMF–to pay its debt to USA and G7 bankers. However, this doesn’t solve its problem. It only shifts debt payments from private bankers to the the IMF. The IMF never ‘bails out’ countries; it always bails out bankers that have loaned to these countries when the latter cannot make payments to their bankers (and bond investors, etc.).

While Argentina has turned to the IMF to temporarily buy time as its crisis deepens, Brazil has gone another route to deal with its ‘made in the USA’ crisis that has been ripening since 2015. It has borrowed even more from US bankers. And it has chosen to raise its interest rates to astronomical levels, in the vain hope of propping up the value of its currency will stem its capital outflow (and encourage continuing capital inflow to Brazil from USA and G7 investors as well).

Brazil’s central bank interest rate is currently around 40%–up from around 14% just a few years ago. That means businesses or consumers have to pay 40% on any loan or debt their incur to stay in business or maintain consumption levels. Interest rates that high virtually shut down wide areas of an economy. And that’s what’s been happening in Brazil. Mass unemployment has followed. As has accelerating inflation and cost of living as Brazil’s currency, the Real, has collapsed in relation to the dollar. Understandably, political unrest follows as jobless grows and prices for basic goods accelerate. That too is now underway.

Brazil’s crisis began in 2015. At that time its central bank interest rates were, as noted, around 14%. Since 2015 they have risen to the 40%. More than half of that acceleration has occurred in just the past year, and especially in 2018. But those 40% rates, and the unemployment and inflation, are the result currency collapse and capital flight–which in turn is a process that has its origins in the USA and rising US interest rates and dollar appreciation.

The error of the Brazilian Workers Party while still in government, led by Lula and then Rouseff, was to allow Brazil’s central bank to steadily raise interest rates since 2015 to current levels. Central banks are always controlled by the private bankers. And private bankers in EMEs like Brazil are dominated by US bankers and investors. And EME central bankers are in turn controlled by their domestic banking interests.
Furthermore, capitalists everywhere have cleverly engineered their central bank institutions to ensure the central banks are shielded from popular national legislatures, just in case popular democratic movements (like the Workers Party) democratically assume power over national governments. Political power remains shielded from economic power. Capitalists have many ways to sabotage democratically elected governments. Central bank interest rates are but one tool.

The Political Strategy Element

The Workers Party in Brazil should therefore have democratized (nationalized in the public interest and fundamentally restructured) the Brazilian central bank back in 2015-16, by opening its decision making process to include democratic forces and representatives. (For my view of how central banks can, and must, be democratized see the concluding chapter to my book, ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes’, Clarity Press, 2017).

In Argentina, the Kirchner government for years refused to repay the US hedge funds their billions of dollars in claims from the earlier debt crisis engineered by them. What it should have done was to pay the hedge funds in special issued and printed Argentine pesos, instead of dollars, and told them to get lost, they’ve been paid. Instead it fought them in global courts dominated by the US and G7.

As the Brazilian economy began to weaken after 2016, and conditions worsen, the USA, allied with domestic Brazil capitalists and pro-Business politicians in Brazil, developed a political strategy to accompany the US interest rate-dollar policies designed to undermine Brazil’s currency and destabilize its economy. This was the so-called ‘political corruption’ offensive, engineered in the USA and implemented in coordination with Brazilian business interests and pro-business political parties. By painting Workers Party leaders–Rouseff and then Lula himself–as corrupt, they drove them from office (or in the case of Lula jailed him to prevent him from running). An unapologetic pro-Business/pro-USA Temer government was put in place. A similar ‘political’ strategy was implemented against the Kirchner government in Argentina, to drive it from office and replace it with the current pro-business Macri government. Temer in Brazil and Macri in Argentina are mirror images of the USA-G7 economic-political strategy to remove populist governments in South America and replace them with pro-USA, pro investor governments.

The Special Case of Venezuela: When All Else 😈 Fails…Military Action 🦍

Destroy the currency is always at the forefront of USA imperialist strategy to drive out populist, democratic governments and re-install pro-Business, pro-US investor governments. USA policy toward Venezuela today is not dissimilar, and represents an extreme version of what has been rolled out in Brazil and Argentina. The USA embarked several years ago to destroy Venezuela’s currency, shut off access to US dollars with which to purchase needed food, medical and other imports, while launching another version of ‘government leaders are corrupt’ political-public opinion offensive. It has supported and financed domestic political opposition forces and parties to the Maduro government. Now it is talking about the final extreme alternative of military intervention. It is lining up other right wing governments in Latin America to take the lead in intervention if necessary. But the USA will plan, direct and finance the costs of military intervention using its proxies, if it comes to that. Recent elections in Venezuela that returned the Maduro government to office have signaled to Washington that the Brazil-Argentina strategy might not work in Venezuela. Thus the consideration of more direct military intervention is now on Washington’s agenda. Trump has as much as said so publicly.

But the USA’s strategies of economic destabilization by, initially, raising interest rates to generate capital flight and currency collapse, to have central banks escalate domestic interest rates in the countries to precipitate mass unemployment and recession, to cause accelerating import goods inflation of critical items–and to engage in ‘leaders are corrupt’ political offensives to depose democratically elected popular governments–may not prove successful in the longer term.

Resistance is Not Futile    

Already democratic movements, unions, strike actions, mass demonstrations are emerging in Brazil and Argentina. And Venezuela holds out despite the desperate destruction of its economy by USA-business interests. Elections are set soon in Brazil. The results will be critical. What the USA-Temer government’s next moves might be are critical. How Brazil goes, so too will go Argentina, giving rise to further popular demonstrations and strikes should elections in Brazil throw out the Temer government. And should both countries restore democratic governments, USA policy toward direct intervention in Venezuela will stall temporarily.

But whatever the political outcomes, the more fundamental economic forces will still prevail: South American popular governments must find a way to prevent their central banks from acting ‘independently’ on behalf of pro-business, pro-US investors, interests; they must find a way to stabilize their currencies not based on the US dollar; and they must not fall into the debt trap offered by the IMF. Until these levers of US-G7 economic power and hegemony are eliminated, emerging market economics like Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela will always be susceptible and at the mercy of USA economic hegemony.

Jack Rasmus is author of the recently published ‘Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression’, Clarity Press, August 2017; ‘Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges’, Clarity Press, October 2016; and ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, Clarity Press, January 2016. His website is: http://www.kyklosproductions.com and twitter handle, @drjackrasmus.

SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS: For my analysis of Emerging Markets instability in 2015-16, including Brazil at the time, see my chapter 3, ‘Emerging Markets Perfect Storm’, in my ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’ book, Clarity Press, January 2016. For reviews click on ‘reviews’ tab on my website, http://www.kyklosproductions.com.


The average American is so hopelessly propagandized that he thinks Oliver's heavily laced Pro-Imperialist, anti-Venezuela Propaganda BULLSHIT was actually funny.

A part by part analysis of Oliver's attack on Venezuela (Oliver is supposed to be a Progressive - see: Orwell) showed how cleverly all (non-fascist) things Venezuela are demonized while all things USA are sanctified.

Agelbert NOTE: Check this video on Venezuela out.  It is quite revealing. The history covered is accurate. The analysis of this video should be part of a college course that teaches how propaganda lies, distortions and misrepresentations are pushed as truth to the detriment of freedom and liberty everywhere. This video is CLASSIC Propaganda that would make Goebbels 🦀 green with envy.

Debunking John Oliver on Venezuela

June 9, 2018

The week of Venezuela’s presidential election, John Oliver dedicated an ENTIRE episode of his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” to the country—full of distortions and highly misleading to progressive-minded people. Responding to Oliver’s major points, Empire Files producer Mike Prysner walks us through the most glaring omissions and misrepresentations


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 10, 2018, 10:39:00 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Check this video on Venezuela out. :emthup: It is quite revealing. The history covered is accurate.

Debunking John Oliver on Venezuela

June 9, 2018

The week of Venezuela’s presidential election, John Oliver dedicated an ENTIRE episode of his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” to the country—full of distortions and highly misleading to progressive-minded people. Responding to Oliver’s major points, Empire Files producer Mike Prysner walks us through the most glaring omissions and misrepresentations

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 25, 2018, 06:58:50 pm »



Unconditional Love for Israel 👹, Silence 🙉 🙊 for Palestine


In truth, after seventy years of failure, and the long track record of one-sided support America has shown toward Israel, I’m no longer optimistic about the prospects for a two-state solution. That said, as a lowly soldier who spent countless hours receiving ear-fulls of criticism of U.S.-Palestine policy from distant Afghans and Iraqis, I am certain of one thing: America’s unjust favoritism of Israel places U.S. servicemen at risk in the Middle East.

Israel has a choice. It purportedly desires to be three things: Jewish, democratic, and expansive—encompassing all territory from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. It can be any two, but not all three. If it is to be expansive and democratic, then it must absorb millions of Palestinians—at which point it ceases to be Jewish. If it continues to deny statehood or full civil rights to the Palestinians, but remains expansive—it is no longer democratic. The best path seems obvious: a less expansive Israel that allows a genuine Palestinian nation-state its own sovereignty. Only, so long as the right-wing Likud Party 😈 of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 🦀 is paramount, that solution is off the table.

And so, America too, has a choice. It can be a fair arbiter , truly the “beacon of democracy” it boisterously bills itself.  Or, it can continue to favor Israel and ignore the plight of Palestinians.

Full article with links to the accurate history of heinous actions by Israel, CONTINUING TO THIS DAY, and the evil people in US media, and in our government, that support Israeli injustice and cruelty:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2018, 05:35:00 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 29, 2017, 01:06:56 pm »


Does Record Snowfall Disprove Global Warming? 'Exactly the Opposite,' Scientist Says

By Lorraine Chow

Dec. 27, 2017 11:06AM EST

The lakefront city of Erie, Pa. has been inundated by several feet of snow this week, “shattering many records," the National Weather Service said.

The historic storm—a whopping 62.9 inches since Dec. 23, with more flakes to come—prompted the city's police department to declare a “Snow Emergency" due to dangerous and impassable roads.

While climate deniers might point to the cold weather as more proof of the "global warming hoax," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe  begs to differ.

"What's with all the snow?" she tweeted Tuesday. "Does it mean global warming is finished? Nope; it's exactly the opposite, in fact. Warmer temperatures are increasing the risk of lake-effect snow."

According to the National Weather Service, "Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The air rises, clouds form and grow into narrow band that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more."

Hayhoe went on to explain over several tweets that both natural cycles (i.e. the North Atlantic Oscillation, La Niña) and human factors (i.e. rising temperatures from man-made climate change) have exacerbated this weather phenomenon.

     Katharine Hayhoe

What's with all the snow? Does it mean global warming is finished? Nope; it's exactly the opposite, in fact. Warmer temperatures are increasing the risk of lake-effect snow, and here's how: (thread)http://buffalonews.com/2017/12/26/you-think-its-snowy-in-buffalo-check-out-what-erie-pa-got/ …

    Katharine Hayhoe

If the Great Lakes aren't frozen, when cold winter weather systems sweep across the lakes, the air warms and becomes more humid. It then rises, the water vapour freezes, and gets dumped as snow. Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake-effect_snow
    9:53 AM - Dec 26, 2017

        2 2 Replies
        31 31 Retweets

     Katharine Hayhoe
    Replying to @KHayhoe

What's the connection between lake-effect snow and global warming? First, as the world warms, it's harder for ice to form, and it isn't lasting as long. For 15 of the last 20 years, Great Lakes ice cover has been below the long-term average. pic.twitter.com/RUDn5dXcoe
    10:01 AM - Dec 26, 2017

Second, this is increasing the risk of days when it's still cold enough to snow, but the lakes aren't ice-covered. So lake-effect snow is on the rise.
    Source:http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1016/j.jglr.2008.11.003 … pic.twitter.com/DyM8TeCPlT
    10:03 AM - Dec 26, 2017

What do we expect for the future? Some continued increase in lake-effect snow over the next few decades, but also a transition from snow to rain, particularly in late fall and early spring. Read more: http://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/less-lake-ice-more-potential-lake-effect-snow
    10:05 AM - Dec 26, 2017

     Katharine Hayhoe
    Replying to @KHayhoe

So what's happening this year? Both natural and human factors are at work: the influence of natural cycles like La Nina and the NAO + exacerbated by a long-term warming trend driving increased risk of lake-effect snow = very low Great Lakes ice cover forecasts for this year. pic.twitter.com/mIQl3NCu90
    10:08 AM - Dec 26, 2017

 At the end of her twitter thread, Hayhoe joked, "When two feet of snow's just been dumped on our driveway, we all think—I'd like a little global warming now, please!"

Recent studies have shown the effect of climate change on regional precipitation. In a study published earlier this month, researchers from Dartmouth College, the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire revealed how they were shocked to find that the Alaska Range has received an average of 18 feet of snow per year—that's more than double the average of eight feet per year from 1600-1840.

The likely culprit is none other than climate change. The authors suggested that warmer waters from the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans caused a strengthening of the "Aleutian Low" pressure system with its northward flow of warm, moist air, driving most of the snowfall increases.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:56:18 pm »

Is Azozeo on the Trump Alternative Facts payroll? (see wild bears and woods poop habits question)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:37:51 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Now for the last sequence with the typical baloney about being "victimized" that Trumpers like azozeo love to wallow in.

The website is an eyesore and apparently has been created by someone who taught themselves web-design in the 1990s and decided anything beyond garishly coloured static HTML is just giving in to them.

That's the understatement of the year.  That is the ugliest website I have seen in a long time.


That's it....
You've had all fu cking day to work me over like a cheap suit & all I get from
you is poor website design, REALLY ?
Well it's better than Surly's bullpen oration. That wasn't even worth a reaction.
Hope you enjoy the fireworks as much as I do.

Life's a stage & we're merely just bit players.
Sir Francis Bacon.

So, AZ complains about being "beat up". This is typical baloney about being "victimized" that Trumpers like azozeo love to wallow in. You certainly are doing a great imitation of your Hero, Trumper.

You've had all fu cking day to work me over like a cheap suit & all I get from
you is poor website design, REALLY ?

What's to work you over with?  You just drop on these links to tweak people who are anti-conspiracy website.  The only thing that struck me visiting the link was how god-awful ugly it was.  I read about 3 paragraphs on the first page which had nothing of interest to me.


Well it's better than Surly's bullpen oration. That wasn't even worth a reaction.

Then next time, read for comprehension. Or get someone to read it to you.



Let's put this bullshit to bed once and for all.

Let's put this bullshit to bed once and for all.

What Is the Uranium One 'Scandal?' Well...
Would you like cheese with your nothingburger?


DEC 21, 2017
Periodically, we hear about the so-called "Uranium One" scandal, a conservative fantasy in which Hillary Clinton somehow engineered the sale of nuclear materials to Russia. Strangely, it seems to crop up every time there's a damaging news report about President Trump's own ties to Russia.

NBC News reported Thursday morning that the Justice Department, under the direction of Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, is once again looking into the Uranium One deal—and even whether a special counsel is needed to investigate. Notice how eager Republicans are to work "Russia," "special counsel," and "Hillary Clinton" into a news story. And notice that there's also a report today that could bolster the obstruction of justice case against President Trump:

Caroline O.‏ @RVAwonk
FollowingFollowing @RVAwonk
Welp. WH counsel Don McGahn discussed with Trump his concerns about Flynn lying to the FBI (& potentially violating Logan Act) in January — well *before* Trump fired Comey. Prosecutors say these records may bolster obstruction case against Trump. http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/12/20/white-house-counsel-knew-in-january-flynn-probably-violated-the-law

You'd want people to talk about uranium, too. NBC provided a lowdown on what Republicans say the Uranium One scandal is:

At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia's state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security...As the New York Times reported in April 2015, some of the people associated with the deal contributed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. And Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a Moscow speech by a Russian investment bank with links to the transaction.
What NBC doesn't mention up top is that the story was fed to the Times from a book called Clinton Cash, which was written by a Breitbart editor and funded by a political action group tied to Steve Bannon and his billionaire benefactor, Robert Mercer. Essentially, this story is the product of a verifiable swamp of Trumpists. It is not real, which NBC lays out farther down:

Nonetheless, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, approved the deal by a unanimous vote, according to public reports. Clinton was just one member of the nine member CFIUS by virtue of her role as Secretary of State. The other eight members of CFIUS came from Treasury, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, Energy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Office of Science & Technology, and the Justice Department.
Defenders of the deal point out that the Russians don't have a license to export the uranium out of the U.S., and that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found no risk to national security. Clinton has said she was not involved in the deliberations and played no role in the decision. Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state, told the Times that he represented the department on the committee, and that "Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter."

This story was also debunked months ago, and more recently. Those debunkings include one by Shep Smith of Fox News:


They also include an expert cross-examination of a conservative talking head by MSNBC's Joy Reid:

This scandal is not real. It's a distraction. You know that because, as usual, Donald Trump has made the political machinations of the Republican Party explicit. In his eagerness and his foolishness, he spelled out the plan to reporters:

"That's your Russia story," said the president . "That's your real Russia story. Not a story where they talk about collusion—and there was none. It was a hoax. Your real Russia story is uranium."

Hey, Mr. President: You're giving away the game again. The Republicans' goal here is to get another Russia storyline going that targets Trump's vanquished opponent, or get a second special counsel appointed, or both. That way, they can muddy the waters and say that there was all kinds of collusion, and Russia was everywhere, and why is the Fake News Media and the corrupt Robert Mueller (whom, when he was first appointed, Republicans almost universally praised) only concentrating on the president?

This is classic authoritarian politics, where the line between fact and fiction is gradually erased until all that matters is what team you're on. Oh, you say Trump colluded? Well I say Clinton colluded, and she gave them uranium! Never mind that they can never export the uranium, and that there's no evidence Clinton had anything to do with the deal.

The Republican caucus.
This isn't the only way Trump's authoritarian lackeys are trying to muddy the waters, either. Just yesterday, Politico reported that House Republicans are trying to gin up corruption claims against officials at the Justice Department and the FBI. The move is led by Devin Nunes, who now has an extensive record of trying to obstruct Russia investigations that includes switching cars so he could go to the White House grounds late at night, undetected, to receive classified information from an unidentified source. Talk about embracing your role providing oversight of the executive branch.

If authoritarianism does take root in this country, it will be thanks to pathetic hand servants like Nunes and other Republicans in Congress, who are terrified of their own base—or who are perhaps worried that someone has leverage over them. For now, there is only one Russian issue subject to formal probes, and one special counsel. If they get their way, there will be however many are necessary to get the Don off the hook.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:10:24 pm »

The website is an eyesore and apparently has been created by someone who taught themselves web-design in the 1990s and decided anything beyond garishly coloured static HTML is just giving in to them.

That's the understatement of the year.  That is the ugliest website I have seen in a long time.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:08:51 pm »

Hot off the fuckin' griddle bitches...




Sorcha Faal

Sorcha Faal is the alleged author of an ongoing series of "reports" published at WhatDoesItMean.com, whose work is of such quality that even other conspiracy nutters don't think much of it. There is a high chance that "Sorcha Faal" is actually David Booth, the owner/operator of the website, or someone collaborating with him.

The primary audience of Sorcha Faal's reports and the only ones who take them seriously are usually other conspiracy theorists, but in a few cases the site has been noticed outside of the fringe, such as in 2016 when a few Russian news sites reported Sorcha's inane speculation as a straight news story (see below).

2Purported identity
2.1The Irish name
3The reports
52016 Russian media circus
6Worst pages
7See also
8External links

The website is an eyesore and apparently has been created by someone who taught themselves web-design in the 1990s and decided anything beyond garishly coloured static HTML is just giving in to them. Besides publishing Sorcha Faal's reports, WhatDoesItMean.com functions as a news aggregator, collecting links to news published elsewhere as "Top World News Now," neatly sorted by country in a large table on the front page.

Its current "About" page reveals almost no info about its owner(s), other than saying that "WhatDoesItMean.Com is a wholly owned of [sic] subsidiary of Oculus Miranda."[1]

Purported identity
In 2004, the site claimed to be by Booth.[2] In 2005, it claimed to be by a Russian scientist named Sorcha Faal,[3] about whom none of the corroborating details like workplace or academic affiliationschecked out. By 2009, the site was claiming "Sorcha Faal" was the title of the head of the "Order of Sorcha Faal,"[4] whose real name is Maria Theresa of Dublin.[5] (The Russian scientist version of Sorcha Faal has been retconnedWikipedia's W.svg as being merely the person occupying the "Sorcha Faal" position at the time.)

We could go on, but really, why?
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 26, 2017, 06:02:37 pm »

Have someone read it to you, or better yet, have it printed, rolled into a tight cylinder, and pound it up your ass. And feel free to insult me some more: I'm just warming up.



Not really. Just warming up in the bullpen.

Surly comes out of the Bullpen.



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